It’s gotten me mad!

I have a red flag/bull reaction when I read the past participle of the verb “to get” in American English.  “He’s gotten a whole lot better” would be written in British English as “He’s got a lot better.” Ideally, of course, we should ignore such clumsiness and write: “He’s much better now.” Hence avoiding the wooden American English structure.

But why does it matter? If you were raised in Arizona it probably doesn’t matter. But why use American English on UK websites? Unless “you gotten a whole lotta US consumers” to woo it makes no sense. I would argue that American English antagonises UK consumers. Or, rather, antagonizes them. (American in appearance, the “z” is the formal British use of the verb “to antagonize.”)

Mixed up? Most of our language is. Like classically trained musicians who can improvise at will (and yes, that is with the letter “s”) writers can improvise with the English language. But only when certain of the rules of grammar. Play with words and an untrained ear, and what a cacophony follows!

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