language has many roots - mainly Germanic
, and Romance
- which means that almost any
word you can think of can be replaced by an appropriate synonym.
(The tongue spoken by anglophones stems from disparate sources - primarily Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and French - with the outcome that practically every term therein has a valid and equivalent alternative.)
OK, enough of that. The Germanic languages, which can reasonably be seen as forming the structural basis for English, have a phenomenon of separable verbs - verbs with a prefix, generally prepositional, which in many forms of the verb is removed and gets put somewhere else in the sentence - Je moet oppassen - Pas op! - Ik heb opgepast; the sematic relationship between the stem, the prefix and the meaning of the compound is not always intuitively obvious. English has more or less kept this feature, but (as with that other Germanic characteristic, very long compound noun strings - Donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitänsmütze) English leaves gaps between the component words. Certain verbal stems are very productive in this manner - nehmen and nemen in German and Dutch respectively, for example, and set, put and get in English.
These structures - prepositional and phrasal verbs are at the heart of the English vernacular, and are what native anglophones think of as the "easy" way to express something (which is a nightmare for language learners from Romance language backgrounds, since they have no apparent logic and a number of less than obvious rules - you can run a bill up but you can't run a hill up, although you can run up a hill or a bill) - it feels more intuitively obvious to most native anglophones to say "when does the train get in" than "when does the train arrive", although many foreigners will find the latter more straightforward. Removing "get" from the language would leave us unable to get on a train in hope of getting on with your fellow passengers, or possibly even getting off with them, or anything else you might get up to that you get off on, until you get to the place that you get off at.
So what sort of get would want to deprive us of that? They can get lost.
It should also be noted that "have got" is rather more common in British English
than American; in colloquial BE "have" is used almost solely as an auxilliary verb
, with "have got" used unambiguously to indicate possession. Conversely American English speakers ask their bar staff and waiters "Can I get
...?" where British usage has traditionally been "Can I have ...?" Although these differences may be eroding, they are strong in currently dominant strains of BE like estuary English
. This is pretty much a spoken phenomenon, though - written BE avoids most forms of "get" in much the same way as the writer of the original node proposes.
And if we're going to be like that, the writer wishes it put on record that he was raised by a primary school teacher and a magazine editor.