I was sat

(29 Posts)
msrisotto Fri 18-Oct-13 19:29:07

Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! It is driving me absolutely up the wall. My DH has either just started making this particular grammatical error, or I have only recently started noticing it. I am not allowed to correct him anymore.
Worse than this though, is the fecking Telegraph who have just published it in this otherwise vaguely interesting piece that I now cannot finish.

SvarteKatterogFlosshatter Fri 18-Oct-13 19:36:20

I have used 'I was sat' all my life, as I am from Dorset. I find people who say 'I was sitting' pretty annoying. grin

I do take your point though, it's not grammatically correct.

Cooroo Fri 18-Oct-13 19:41:01

It's widely used in Yorkshire. I'd see it as perfectly valid dialect. It is really only conventional that a London-based version of English is deemed 'correct'. I'm speaking as a terrible pedant but 35 years in Yorkshire have made me realise there is room for variety!

TallulahBetty Sat 19-Oct-13 08:12:07

Regional dialect. I say this as a figure of speech, but I would never write it, as I know it's incorrect.

PoppadomPreach Sat 19-Oct-13 08:24:25

YANBU x 1000

Bugs the hell out of me too. It's wrong, not a dialect!

Orangeanddemons Sat 19-Oct-13 08:30:25

In Yorkshire, they say, I were sat. grin

TallulahBetty Sat 19-Oct-13 10:39:21

Well, it's both wrong AND a dialect. Like I said, I say this as a regional figure of speech, but I know it's grammatically wrong, so would never use in written language.

msrisotto Sat 19-Oct-13 10:40:29

I'm from the middy midlands, not London by the way.

edam Sat 19-Oct-13 10:42:01

I grew up in Yorkshire, would sound fine in spoken English, not in written (although why written English should conform to the dialect of the South East middle and upper classes I do not know).

Lillielangtry Sat 19-Oct-13 10:59:34

It isn't Standard English but then much of what we say isn't Standard English. As long as people know not to use it in formal writing, it's fine!

TallulahBetty Sat 19-Oct-13 11:09:23

I'm from the Midlands too so it's not just a Yorkshire thing smile

addenuf Sat 19-Oct-13 11:28:01

It's everywhere, BBCshock included. Just another thing to shout at the television about. I'm hoarse by 0730.

volestair Mon 21-Oct-13 11:23:13

As a schoolkid I wrote a short story for an exam entirely in my Yorkshire dialect; "I was sat" was fine, and not marked down, as it is correct in that context.

I was sat and I was stood are becoming quite commonplace I've noticed. Regional dialects are fine but it's used in newspaper articles, advertising, on here etc. I think people genuinely think it's correct.

It sounds completely bizarre to my ears. As bizarre as somebody saying 'I was ate a sandwich'.

BinarySolo Mon 21-Oct-13 11:36:06

Yes fine colloquially but would write it. I'm in Yorkshire but originally Leicestershire and I imagine it said in a Lesta accent.

MiniMonty Wed 23-Oct-13 00:59:50

Once the past tense has been declared (I was) then the infinitive or present perfect should be used thereafter.

"I was sat" is horrid in every way and no one should accept it, use it or agree to it.

Why would anyone think that being from the North might be an excuse to use their own language badly?

MiniMonty Wed 23-Oct-13 01:02:04

PS - in my experience it's more often used out loud as "I were sat there" or "I were stood there" which just makes me hold my head in my hands.

volestair Wed 23-Oct-13 15:31:10

In my head, MiniMonty is saying "Why would anyone think that being from the North might be an excuse to use their own language badly?" in the poshest imaginable voice, holding a pair of glasses on a stick and blinking in horror, while stroking a tiny dog with the other hand.

msrisotto Wed 23-Oct-13 16:01:15

Reading far too much into this but I suppose there are these themes that either.
1. There is no such thing as correct grammar therefore regional dialects are equally valid or
2. Correct grammar is attainable through proper education (therefore regional dialects are actually uneducated?) which is then resented

volestair Wed 23-Oct-13 16:17:27

I feel that there is a "correct" standard British English that we all agree to use for formal or written communication, which we all share and which we should all have a basic degree of competence in. There is also a "standard" American English, Indian English, German German, Swiss German, Austrian German, French French, Canadian French, etc. - which are all used by newsreaders, in exams, or for speaking to foreigners.

Then there are local dialects, which may not have an authoritative "correct" version, which can have differences that exist on a continuum from area to area, and from full-on dialect to almost-standard. Using that dialect when appropriate doesn't imply lack of education or an inability to code-switch, and it is possible to get that dialect wrong. Someone who uses were to mean was may be using a correct form in their dialect, or they may be using an incorrect form in Standard English. I might be concerned about a child whose family speaks Standard English who uses were for was or her for it, but if that is the normal usage of adults around them I would assume all was progressing normally.

MuffCakes Wed 23-Oct-13 16:20:17

I didn't even realise this wasn't correct.

Ruprekt Wed 23-Oct-13 16:22:52

Every single teacher I have EVER worked with says

'You should be sat on the carpet....'

'You should be sat down.....'

It drives me doolally! Unbearable.....angryangryangryangryangry

FalseWidow Wed 23-Oct-13 20:13:17

Not much to add to this one other than, lots of Yorkshire people consider that we're not saying "I were" but rather "I wa' " - i.e. it's a shortening of 'was', so it's a pronunciation issue rather than a grammatical mistake.

Actually, it's a pronunciation issue AS WELL as a grammatical mistake grin grin grin

volestair Wed 23-Oct-13 21:21:40

Good point FalseWidow. Hearing it in my head, if I think of someone emphasising the word, they're definitely going wa' and not were. Like, "You wonn't doing your homework." "I woh!" (Apologies for horrendous attempt at fuhnetick spelling.)

FalseWidow Wed 23-Oct-13 22:06:08

Exactly. I don't really speak that like (dead posh northerner, me) but I grew up with it all around me, and I always thought that 'I wornt' was the way 'I wasn't' was pronounced round them parts. grin

It also really irritates me the way some people try to do impressions of the Yorkshire accent and insert random 't' sounds into their sentences, as though we're a bunch of blethering idiots. I might have to start a thread on it one day, when a particularly aggravating example comes to mind.

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