I think you have added some really good feedback to this discussion by reminding all of us that we really do speak different languages (dialects) at different times. You have done a good job explaining the three basic languages we all use. It is difficult, as you have mentioned, to help students understand the differences. Thanks for sharing this insightful look into language.
Happy Father's Day!
Is there a grammatical error in "Father's Day"?
Inspired by the celebration of Mothers Day Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton organized the first Father's Day on July 5, 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia to honor the lives of 210 fathers lost in the Monongah Mining disaster - http://www.msha.gov/disaster/monongah/monon1.asp.
Two years later Sonora Dodd petitioned Congress to establish the day as a a national holiday. In 1972 President Richard Nixon official signed into law this annual day honoring fathers.
Was the person who wrote the original petition a grammarian? The name is understood as a plural possession as in "day belonging to Fathers." Shouldn't the apostrophe be following the "s" as in "Fathers' Day". If this is a grammatical error, it is continues to this day on cards, coffee mugs, and t-shirts.
This whole conversation is definitely improving my research skills. The following is taken from Wikipedia and is supported by other encyclopedic entries.
"Although the name of the event is usually understood as a plural possessive (i.e. "day belonging to fathers"), which would under normal Englishguidelines be spelled "Fathers' Day," the most common spelling is "Father's Day," as if it were a singular possessive (i.e. "day belonging to Father"). In the United States, Dodd used the "Fathers' Day" spelling on her original petition for the holiday, but the spelling "Father's Day" was already used in 1913 when a bill was introduced to the U.S. Congress as the first attempt to establish the holiday, and it was still spelled the same way when its creator was commended in 2008 by the ".
To satisfy the grammarians, we could consider it as an event title, where technically correct English often goes out the window. On the other hand...we all just have one biological father, so are we celebrating our individual fathers, or fathers in general? Hmmmmm......
My second year of teaching was in Texas. I had a young girl come up and ask me "why do you call on me so often in class?" Coming from Ohio, I tried to explain how I loved to hear her Texas accent. Of course, she responded, "what accent?" While incorrect grammar can grate on one's ears, I hope we never lose the regional flavor of language so richly enhanced by our "melting pot" culture.
I hear 'brung' in 3rd grade and I always respond by saying, "Oh, you brought.....". When you respond by using the correct grammar, it allows the speaker the opportunity to self correct. Since my students are with me for the entire school year, it is my thinking that repetition will replace 'brung' with brought!
If it's any consolation, I discovered that my Danish son-in-law makes the same error in Danish (where the words are very similar.) And I've heard them confused in German as well. But it does irritate me.
I think it is important to show them next to each other.
As a linguist, I know that the old irregular verbs, lie, lay, lain and sing sang sung, run, ran run, etc. are all "intransitive," which means it's only the subject involved, with no object.
The regular verbs lay laid laid (which is just "layed" spelled more simply) are transitive, which means the subject does something to the object. I laid the book on the table.
An interesting comparison is with the verb "hang."
Officially, you hanged up your coat, so it hung there on the hook. Or more vividly, the prisoner was hanged.
But a lot of these verbs are getting wishy-washy: it should be "I dove into the pool" (intransitive) not dived, like drive, drove, driven (which historically shouldn't be transitive, as in I drove the car, just I drove to Los Angeles!)
That made me check out dive in the dictionary. In an English dictionary I have, the correct form is dive, dived, dived, and they write dove as American. So the English have gotten farther than we have with simplifying that verb.
In other words, I think we're fighting a loosing battle, but the students might be interested in this little foray into linguistics.