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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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  #1  
Old 17th February 2015
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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"Can I get?"

I first came across this phrase when I heard my adult son using it in a restaurant, when placing an order.

This substitute for "X, please" is becoming quite frequently heard e.g. from people ordering drinks at a pub bar. During a discussion in our local pub, the landlord, and all regulars present, declared this to be rude and mildly offensive.

I struggle to understand how this ugly phrase came into use.

Harold
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Old 17th February 2015
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Re: "Can I get?"

Can I get this straight? - it was said without "please" on the end? If so, then yes, I agree it's rude. Otherwise, I have no problem.
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Old 17th February 2015
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: "Can I get?"

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Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
Can I get this straight? - it was said without "please" on the end? If so, then yes, I agree it's rude. Otherwise, I have no problem.
On the occassions when I have heard it the "please" has been silent.

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Old 17th February 2015
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Re: "Can I get?"

Fully in agreement, Harold. It's yet another Americanism, I fear.
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Old 17th February 2015
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Re: "Can I get?"

Damn those colonials for using our language!

Sadly a large minority of the world uses English, and it evolves differently in different places compared to how the language as used in England and the rest of the UK. I doubt we, the English, will be able to change this.

However:- 'Can I get?' invites the answer:- 'No, but I can get it for you if you ask me nicely.'
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Old 17th February 2015
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Re: "Can I get?"

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Originally Posted by StephenL View Post
Fully in agreement, Harold. It's yet another Americanism, I fear.
...... And another symptom of our "I can have whatever I want" society.

I should add that the 'get' word is one that wish didn't exist in our vocabulary (along with a few others such as 'can' and 'take' in some contexts), and which I like to avoid using.

What is wrong with "I would like xxx please"?
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Old 17th February 2015
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Re: "Can I get?"

"Can I get" approximates to "Can I have" but would be best followed by "...please?". Somehow it seems to be a little more crass, though.

I find the gradual decline in common manners (which is to say, general respect for one another) quite sad. Blame it on Eastenders, innit.
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Old 17th February 2015
Harold Gough Harold Gough is offline
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Re: "Can I get?"

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Originally Posted by StephenL View Post
Fully in agreement, Harold. It's yet another Americanism, I fear.
I might have known!

I have been reading an excellent boook about the origins and development of the English language. It seems that a lot of "Americanisms" are Englishisms from colonial and post-colonial immigrant days. "I guess" is one of those. A lots of vocabulary is tracable to regions of England, such as the soutwest and East Anglia. The Scots and Irish have had a large influnce.

The multinational origins of the people of the USA turns up some interesting facts. For example, Custer is a German name, presumably with an initial K.

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Old 17th February 2015
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Re: "Can I get?"

Language is what language is. Any historical linguist will tell you that. No point getting hung up on it.

Of course, language is also a marker for class or social rank. Nothing's changed in that sense since the dawn of humans either. I can get all pedantic sometimes, but I know I'm just being a dinosaur!
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Old 17th February 2015
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Re: "Can I get?"

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Language is what language is. Any historical linguist will tell you that. No point getting hung up on it.

Of course, language is also a marker for class or social rank.
Yes and no. Look at the usage of Cockneys and our Royal Family. Dropping the terminal g, as in huntin', and using orf for off, etc.

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Old 17th February 2015
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Re: "Can I get?"

OK! Hands up if you've started a sentence with Yeah or written 'kudos to xxxxxx'.

David
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Old 17th February 2015
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Re: "Can I get?"

As Colin has said it is a simple substitution of 'get' for 'have' and either request can and should be followed by 'please' for politeness. Another Americanism creeping into our everyday vocabulary, as Stephen mentions, but this is how language evolves - from common everyday usage. Both our adult children use 'get' (with a please I might add!) but then our son has some excuse as our daughter-in-law is Californian!

Regards,
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Old 17th February 2015
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Re: "Can I get?"

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OK! Hands up if you've started a sentence with Yeah or written 'kudos to xxxxxx'.

David
No hands up from me, and I don't do "high fives" either!

Harold
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Old 17th February 2015
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Re: "Can I get?"

Harold, I'm GONNA avoid this thread before I remember hundreds of other irritants.

David
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Old 17th February 2015
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Re: "Can I get?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by byegad View Post
Damn those colonials for using our language!

Sadly a large minority of the world uses English, and it evolves differently in different places compared to how the language as used in England and the rest of the UK. I doubt we, the English, will be able to change this.

However:- 'Can I get?' invites the answer:- 'No, but I can get it for you if you ask me nicely.'
Or the answer could be, "Sure. Come around the counter & get it yourself & then I can charge you double for the experience."

I also find the poor use of the English language & lack of good manners irritating. The following would be much better "May I have X please.", but "Could I have X please." would at least be acceptable manners.

Other phrases also become far too common too, like "Me & me mates are going to the pub." Or someone admits to being wrong over something, saying "My bad!" & my thoughts are, "Your bad what?"

Just to add, I think I'll just blame a lot of it on too much American TV.
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