To Be Or Not To Be

Had anyone else noticed that the words “to be” are starting to disappear from the English language? And also the suffix “ing?” Here is a sample of what I’m talking about (and I’m seeing it more and more often, particularly on message boards):

They can’t have anything that needs cooked.

I don’t get it. Is it that much more difficult to type out the complete sentence: “They can’t have anything that needs to be cooked?” Are those two words no longer necessary to form a complete sentence? Or, alternatively, to write: “They can’t have anything that needs cooking?”

Is this some kind of new internet shorthand that I’m not familiar with? Maybe I’m just getting old, and not up on all the current slang!

5 thoughts on “To Be Or Not To Be

  1. genhere says:

    NO! It’s OHIO! My best friend is from there, and when I lived in Ohio very briefly, it about drove me bonkers! The car needs washed, the floor needs swept, the clothes need ironed. AHHHHH!!!!!!!

  2. Interesting. I never considered it might be a regional thing–I just assumed it was an internet thing, since I’ve never heard it in real life. At least I’m not the only one–my husband thought I was crazy when I told him about it!

  3. genhere says:

    In fact – I’m going to send Ali here to harass her – it’s a big joke between us, now (because she has learned just how very, very WRONG she is [on this point]).


  4. Ali says:

    Put both statements “They can’t have anything that needs cooked” and “They can’t have anything that needs cooking” into a grammar check and see what happens. It is a regional thing and it’s NOT bad grammar. 😛

  5. I’ll take your word on it not being bad grammar. I personally wouldn’t even say “they can’t have anything that needs cooking,” although that I’ve heard before. I’d just say “they can’t have anything that needs to be cooked.” Maybe I’m the weird one! 😉

    It’s funny to run across regional speech idiosyncrasies that you might otherwise never hear. Like I said, I’ve never actually heard anyone saw something “needs cooked” or the like in real life, but lately I’m seeing it all the time online.

    When we first moved to Missouri, I couldn’t believe how frequently people used the word “ignorant” in conversation–I’d never heard it used like that before. Never seen that peculiarity online, though.

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