Needs Cleaned

I get paid to work three days a week. On those days combined I rack up a total of five hours of driving time. I don’t have a radio station I love to listen to, I can’t find enough people to talk to on the phone for five hours, and I’m a little tired of the music on our mp3 player. My current entertainment is listening to podcasts.

Of the three I subscribe to, Grammar Girl is my favorite. Because of this I’ve learned exactly where to put punctuation when quotation marks are present, that the past tense of chide previously was chode, and that the ten most used verbs in English are irregular verbs. Anyone else find all that interesting? I feel smarter and like a better writer and speaker after listening, and the miles slip away with much less moping on my part.

On my way home Friday, I listened to her podcast titled “Needs Washed.” It was completely new news to me that saying, “My car needs washed,” is technically incorrect English. I’m pretty sure I’ve said, “My house needs cleaned,” without thinking a think of it. No longer. I will now add “to be.”

She says that the main range where “needs washed” is used goes as far west as Iowa. Check out the map she has where people have marked if they’ve heard the phrase. According to that map, it kind of looks like it is less used once you hit Nebraska, but I wonder if the population of Nebraska on the west side of the state has anything to do with that. It’s my opinion that lots of Nebraskans, especially those living on dirt roads, have said, “My car needs washed.”

Am I wrong in thinking that?

By the way, please give grace for any punctuation or grammar errors. I’m still learning.

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2 thoughts on “Needs Cleaned

  1. I love Grammar Girl! It’s been a while since I’ve listened to her podcasts (mostly because I couldn’t keep up and they just kept coming!) but I’m a big fan. 🙂 And goodness gracious, grammatically correct or not, my car NEEDS washed. To be washed. Whatever. It’s filthy. If I wait long enough, my husband will wash it. 🙂

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