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Tiger is feeling better -- 10/16/11




Tiger is feeling better. His appetite for food (as opposed to just liquids) has returned and he is eating today. He (and I) thank you for your good wishes..

So... I mentioned in an email the other day that I wanted to say something about take vs. bring. This was prompted by an email from one of you
(Hi Clarence!) about my "not a notify msg" email I sent (to those of you on my email notify list) prior to my recent trip to Ottawa. In it I said "I might not even bring my laptop with me."

That led to an emailed question about how long I had been confusing "take" and "bring" --
I'm wondering if you can recall for how long you have been using the word "bring" for the word "take?"  I'm simply baffled by how this usage was spread around through so much of today's most public figures.  I hear it used in news broadcasts and TV programs but your message is the first time I remember seeing it in text.

I am aware that there has been some debate about the use and misuse of these two verbs. My understanding is that the distinction is determined by where the speaker is. That is, if located at the origin point, "take" would be the correct choice; if at the destination point, "bring" would be the correct choice. In other word, I would take something there and I would bring it here. This is, however, complicated by a caveat that the actual physical locations may be overruled by their mental location. That is, if they are thinking in terms of their destination, then then "bring" might be more appropriate than "take" even if they are still at the origin point. (Does that mean that applies in the same way, if the speaker is at the destination but thinking about the point of origin? We'll have to ask the official language standards council -- oh, wait, this isn't France.)

So I might say that when I wrote "bring" I was visualizing being in Ottawa and thus was using the correct verb. However, I honestly did not give it any thought, I was just typing out a quick note and just went from my head into pixels on the screen without any linguistic analysis. I think that if I were in the process of packing my suitcase and you came up to me and asked "What are you taking with you?" I might reply "Well, I'm bringing my toothbrush and my camera and my cell phone and..." I think that (if speaking/writing casually) I take a course, take care, take my coffee black, take pills before or after meals (depending on the label instructions), take a boat, take a train, take the first left after where the post office used to be, and take an interest... but I probably always bring things with me.

If writing a more formal document, I might well apply a sufficient amount of analysis to make the correct distinction between take and bring.

I grew up speaking mid-Hudson Valley English in a heavily Italian blue collar neighborhood. That has been modified by reading and exposure to mass media and living in various other areas and working with people from around the world, but when speaking (writing) casually, I probably still speak as I did decades ago.



I can't resist sticking in another Ottawa photo. Jill and Chris and I went to a pub (I think it was The Wood on Wellington St) for a beer (all three of us are having Rickard's Red Ale) and watching hockey on TV (Ottawa vs. Toronto). There is no flash reflection on the window behind them (other than the flash along the left edge of the picture) because the whole front window folds open. I've never seen that done like that in a restaurant before this. When we left, Chris and Jill just stepped over the base of the wall and onto the sidewalk.


And two airplane pictures....

This one is just after taking off from Ottawa on my return home. I like the aircraft's shadow zipping along the ground...

And this one was a couple of minutes after taking off -- when the airplane's shadow is still large enough to be seen -- and a touch of autumn color can be seen in the woods below. (Or, these being Canadian trees, should I say autumn colour?).



Okay, one more picture -- Jill and Tiger last night. That round shape on the left side of the picture is Tiger's heated bed. He has really come to love that bed and the warmth it provides.




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