A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

getting and having: on laundry & love

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on March 9, 2008

Last night H & I took my aunt’s advice and went out for date night. We had a hoot of a time – especially since one of us is a very fine dancer.

“Date night” was a very satisfying end to “laundry day”, or rather “work and errand punctuated by laundry folding” day. Truth be told, a trio of sweet maids did the laundry, and I merely showed up at folding time – my kind of laundry day.

An advertisement I’ve seen on several billboards recently is also focused on laundry: a 6-kilogram load washing machine on sale from Homeline.

The washing machine looks fine, but the ad copy has been driving me nuts:

img_0321.jpg

I get it – the new father of two wants to get a new washing machine so he can catch up on his sleep. Right – because so many Lebanese men do the laundry.

But that’s not what bothers me about the advertisement – its the bad grammar.

Just got his second baby? In English, one “has” a baby. The verb “to have” is a dictionary-recognized synonym for “to deliver” or “to give birth”. “To get” is not. You can get a disease, or get a new car, or acquire a new diamond bracelet, or even get (in the sense of “become”) married. You cannot get a child, because a child is not a possession.

On the other hand, I have heard several Lebanese people talk about siblings or friends “getting” children. So perhaps the ad copy was written wrong intentionally. You never know🙂

One Response to “getting and having: on laundry & love”

  1. intlxpatr said

    Aha! Little Diamond, “get” can be short for “beget,” but it also would not be gramatically correct usage in this example. What would you write that would be short, snappy and get the point across?

    “Need sleep! Bought washer!” (?)

    2 Babies, no sleep. Need Washer!

    (You are SO much better at this than I am.)

    Hope you had a great date night. You segue’d away!

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