Forums · General English Grammar & Vocabulary, Listening & Speaking · General English Grammar Questions
I didn't know where to ask, but since there's not much traffic in the linguistic section, I'll ask here although it's not really "general grammar". Who uses the verb to be like in I says, and where? I saw it one, two, three times, not I have to ask. Either all characters in King's stories are nuts, or King is nuts, or someone says it, possibly in Maine or somewhere in New England.
"He puked in my slipper," I says.
I think it comes from "Oh yeah! ? - Who says?" or "Says who?", often written as, "Sez who?" to indicate that's an example of "improper" grammar. (reply) "Sez me!"
"I sez to myself, sez I, - " or "I says to myself, says I." (a common expression)
If anyone else has an opinion or knows more about "I says", of course I won't dismiss their reply.
He does tend to write his characters' speech very colloquially.
"So 'Blah blah blah,' Jim says, but I couldn't let that go, so 'Blah blah blah,' I says, and his eyes get all big and his face gets all red, and I'm thinking' we're really in for sumptin' now," recounted Pelletier.
Cf. "I goes", which in BrE is similarly used (though not "goes I").
I do think it's fair to say that "says I" had a wider use in improvises narratives - the retelling of stories, etc.
Best wishes, - A.
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