Login or register (free and only takes a few minutes) to participate in this question.
You will also have access to many other tools and opportunities designed for those who have language-related jobs
(or are passionate about them). Participation is free and the site has a strict confidentiality policy.
|English to English translations [PRO]|
|English term or phrase: says I|
|The expression appeared at least twice in David Copperfield.|
¡§Peggotty,¡¨ says I, suddenly, ¡§were you ever married?¡¨
¡§Lord, Master Davy,¡¨ replied Peggotty. ¡§What¡¦s put marriage in your head!¡¨
She answered with such a start, that it quite awoke me. And then she stopped in her work, and looked at me, with her needle drawn out to its thread¡¦s length.
¡§But were you ever married, Peggotty?¡¨ says I. ¡§You are a very handsome woman, an¡¦t you?¡¨
But on the same page, Dickens also, confusingly, used "said I".
¡§But if you marry a person, and the person dies, why then you may marry another person, mayn¡¦t you, Peggotty?¡¨
¡§You MAY,¡¨ says Peggotty, ¡§if you choose, my dear. That¡¦s a matter of opinion.¡¨
¡§But what is your opinion, Peggotty?¡¨ said I.
I asked her, and looked curiously at her, because she looked so curiously at me.
¡§My opinion is,¡¨ said Peggotty, taking her eyes from me, after a little indecision and going on with her work, ¡§that I never was married myself, Master Davy, and that I don¡¦t expect to be. That¡¦s all I know about the subject.¡¨
¡§You an¡¦t cross, I suppose, Peggotty, are you?¡¨ said I, after sitting quiet for a minute.
This passage also shows that Dickens was inconsistent in his usage of tenses: "says Pegotty" and "said Pegotty" Why is that allowed? Is this blatant sloppiness which is tolerated only because he was famous? And does any body know where "says I" come from? Maybe learners of English should stay away from his works.
|English translation:it is simply use of the vernacular|
Dickens is merely trying to express the way his uneducated characters speak.
Don't diss Dickens he is a world-class genius but it is hardly modern English!
Selected response from:
Local time: 04:56
|Graded automatically based on peer agreement.|
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer
1 min confidence: peer agreement (net): +6
|says i |
No, it is a realistic imitation of hypercorrection.
Note added at 4 mins (2003-12-08 19:01:25 GMT)
The confusion of verb tenses, the incorrect usage of number in the verb with the subject pronoun, coupled with the use of the nominative instead of the objective case, most commonly used by uneducated speakers, shows hypercorrection of the character.
This is the equivalent, albeit it less obvious, of today when people say \"between you and I\" this is what is going on, instead of saying correctly \"between you and me.\" When in doubt, hypercorrect. Uneducated or partially educated people have always done this.