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It's looking to me like a substantial proportion of the people who think "I like to be pet behind the ears" is correct have spent a certain amount of time in Michigan, Windsor, or Minnesota, or know people from there.

Then again, I grew up in Michigan (left in 1981) and I never heard it there, that I recall.


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 11th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
In our house we say skritched. But then, we make up words, too.
Jan. 11th, 2008 08:59 pm (UTC)
"scritched" works too.
Jan. 11th, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
Likewise. I grew up in Highland Park, right in the middle of Detroit, and had relatives in Windsor. I've never heard that usage either.
Jan. 11th, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC)
I was one of the "be pet" group (UP of mich); "be petted" sounds wrong. But then, I also say "she lay down" instead of "she laid down."
Jan. 11th, 2008 11:45 pm (UTC)
And that is actually correct, unless you're talking about wine. For fussy values of "correct," anyway. The past tense of "lie" is "lay" and the past tense of "lay" (pesky, pesky, pesky verb as it is) is "laid." Forgive me if you know all this.

I've lived in Minnesota for years, but I didn't grow up here, and I don't know all that many people who did. And you know, it's amazing how the past tense of "pet" will just not come up during years of conversation.

Jan. 12th, 2008 12:33 am (UTC)
I think this:

"she lay down" is correct past tense of "to lie".

"Laid" is the past tense of "to lay." If I hear "She laid down," I ask "She laid what down?"
Jan. 12th, 2008 09:59 am (UTC)
I do that too. But then I am one of those picky people who correct people for asking can they do some such rather than may they. *shrug*
Jan. 12th, 2008 02:19 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to think of what usage Word kept correcting me -- "She lay her hand on his cheek." Yeah, it wanted "laid". But "laid" just doesn't sound right to me. *shrugs* I dunno why!
Jan. 13th, 2008 07:09 pm (UTC)
I'm from Windsor, and neither one sounds right to me, but that may be because I don't like it. :)

On the other hand, I would say "My tortie Calliope likes to be pet behind the ears, and usually lets me know that she's had enough by trying to rip my hand off at the wrist."
Jan. 15th, 2008 06:12 pm (UTC)
Another native Michigander here who never heard that usage while living there (or anywhere else until your post, for that matter). Perhaps it's a regionalism which has developed in the last couple of decades?
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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