shrink, shrank, shrunk
>>Travis, these are some of the things said by NES. Are they OK in your book?
“the budget shortfall was able to be solved by selling brownies.”<<
That one sounds a bit awkward, but is still understandable. In particular, the thing that is likely making it awkward is the combination of the use of passive voice and the use of a "to"-phrase at the same time.
>>“our club meets on alternative Tuesdays,”<<
That is understandable, but is not quite what one would most likely actually say, which would be "alternate" instead of "alternative".
>>“a backwards glance.”
“calm, cool, and collective.”<<
These both sound fine to me alright.
That should be "subjectively" not "subjunctively" in my second previous post above.
It seems you are saying that NES do not make mistakes.
Many commentators would say that the following is incorrect use because “the budget shortfall was able to be solved by selling brownies.”<<
Reasoning: people are able to do things, but things are not able to be done.
<>>“our club meets on alternative Tuesdays,”<<
That is understandable, but is not quite what one would most likely actually say, which would be "alternate" instead of "alternative". >
And yet many native speakers use "alternative". Are they using English incorrectly when they do that?
<>>“a backwards glance.”>
As an adjective, only "backward" is correct. If NES use "backwards" in that context, are they doing so incorrectly?
<“calm, cool, and collective.”<< >
Isn't "collected" the right choice?
<<Often enough, but if your standard usage causes other people to consider you stupid or ignorant, you may want to consider changing it. You have the right to express yourself in any manner you please, but if you wish to communicate effectively, you should use nonstandard English only when you intend to, rather than fall into it because you don’t know any better. >>
Remember that English is a pluricentric language, not one with one single standard. If I say "shrunk" for the preterit in the context of my speech community (North American English) few would even notice. I am a native speaker of English and am well-educated (I'm graduating with a bachelor's degree in Linguistics, no less, in several weeks). I have gotten along just fine in life using the kind of English I speak and don't anticipate any problems based on how people perceive me. Yet my spoken usage doesn't always match up with formal written usage. Why? No one's does.
Advice to second language learners--know the written forms "shrink" "shrank" and "shrunk" and know how to use them but don't be surprised when even the most educated and "prestigious" of native speakers don't follow textbook usage (for this matter or any other). There will always be a gap between the written and spoken language.
That is all.
<<As an adjective, only "backward" is correct.>>
Where did you ever get that idea? That sounds like an arbitrary prescriptivistic textbook rule. It may apply to some dialects but certainly not all. I hear and use "backwards glance" all the time.
Don't make me repeat what I wrote above :)
<<If NES use "backwards" in that context, are they doing so incorrectly?>>
Not at all. Native speakers (of any language) do not use their language "incorrectly." Language variation and dialects do not equal incorrect usage but simply that--variation. Now, native speakers can certainly make writing/spelling/typographical mistakes but that doesn't reveal a lack of linguistic competence so much as the fact that even the best of people fall a bit short of complete mastery (or just have a slip of the mind, hand, or keyboard) of the written language. Anyway, that doesn't even apply in this case because "backwards" in such an instance is completely natural for many native speakers--including me.
<<Isn't "collected" the right choice?>>
<<And yet many native speakers use "alternative". Are they using English incorrectly when they do that? >>
Interesting examples. Those are examples of what are known in linguistics as "eggcorns." Every language has them and they can sometimes bring about language change. It's debatable whether or not these are truly mistakes, altho they're not acceptable in formal written language unless they become used so often they pass into what is deemed standard usage. It's important to remember native speakers already know how to speak their language and they do it just fine, but they are not infallible when it comes to the written language. That's what education is for.
To a linguist eggcorns are exciting because they point to how some native speakers analyze or reanalyze the language they natively speak. Anyway, such examples are generally peripheral to overall language usage but they are quite interesting. If you'd like more information:
<Where did you ever get that idea? That sounds like an arbitrary prescriptivistic textbook rule. It may apply to some dialects but certainly not all. I hear and use "backwards glance" all the time. >
But is your use based on an error made years back? Or are all alternatives to formal use correct?
<<But is your use based on an error made years back? Or are all alternatives to formal use correct?>>
No, "backwards" was never a mistake. It's actually been around for centuries. It was formed from the adverbial genitive and at least in my speech is completely normal. I know some language learners learn that "towards" or "backwards" or other such forms are supposedly "incorrect" but that makes little sense to me, as I use those forms all the time and their usage receives little to no notice here in North America. Before you brought it up I hadn't realized some textbooks taught "backwards" was "incorrect." This may be based on formal written British English (remember English is pluricentric). This is what etymonline says about the form:
<<c.1300, from abakward, from O.E. on bæc + -weard adj./adv. suffix. Backwards, with adverbial genitive, is from 1513. Meaning "behindhand with regard to progress" is first attested 1693. To ring bells backward (from lowest to highest), c.1500, was a signal of alarm for fire or invasion, or to express dismay.>>
I often hear native speakers say "What are you infering by your statement?"
Shouldn't that be "implying"?
<No, "backwards" was never a mistake. >
Not as an adverb, but as an adjective it has.
How about "I drug myself out of bed this morning."? NES say it, so is it good usage?
If it's an NES free-for-all, i.e, anything goes, why not adopt this?
"If I would have known about the party, I would have gone to it."
"He don’t care about me anymore."
How many of you NES would use and support the use of this?
"When we go to the party on Saturday, let’s bring a bottle of wine."
<<No, "backwards" was never a mistake. >
Not as an adverb, but as an adjective it has. >
I can't find it in dictionaries as an adjective, Tommie.