I recently encountered a somewhat strange usage of the verb (to) stand. I first took notice of this phenomenon in the song Underwear by Pulp which features the following lines:

"I'd give my whole life to see it
Just you stood there
Only in your underwear"

Removing the irrelevant parts and rewriting it a bit to a more consise form (while preserving the original context) leaves us with the sentance "I'd like to see you stood there". To my ears, "I'd like to see you standing there" sounds correct - even if that form of the verb doesn't give quite the same enjoyment when sung in this particular piece.

I appreciate that songwriters and poets sometimes bend the language in a way that would better fit into their texts, however, I want to recall having encountered similar usage of stand (and also sit) in spoken English. I think that this form is chiefly british and possibly even regionally unique to nothern England (e.g. Yorkshire).

An example of this phenomenon with another verb would be something like: "I was sat in the park".

I asked my teacher if she knew why some people opt to use stood or sat rather than the -ing form, but this kind of usage was apparently previously unbeknownst to her.

To me, saying stood or sat emphasises the act of standing or sitting (the posture) while the -ing forms simply states that you were positioned in a given place.

Seen as how I'm merely a student and not a native speaker, it is fully plausible that I've overcomplicated the matter and, if that is the case, I appologise for wasting your time.

To summarise: Why do some people prefer using stood/sat rather than standing or sitting?

Kind regards,
1 2
Martin Stromberg"I'd give my whole life to see it
Just you stood there
Only in your underwear"
If you want a sensible sentence, "just" delete the "just."

I don't think it's the "stood" that's strange.

I'd give my whole life to see it.

You stood there only in your underwear. What's the big deal? [H]

I don't know the song. The rhythmic treatment of "just" could change the sense of it.

"Just" is often used as a fill-in word while you try to think of what you want to say.

You admit that "I was sat in the park" is something you made up. Do you have a real example like this?

By the way, Welcome to English Forums, Martin. Thanks for joining us! [<:o)]

If you can come up with some more examples, we'll try to figure it out.

Best wishes, - A.
Thank you for your swift reply Avangi.

It could be that this isn't strange at all, I just thought it sounded a bit peculiar.

I do not know what the guidelines for linking to material that could possibly be subject to copyright infringement and if posting a youtube-link is against the rules I shall remove it. In any case, here is a link to the aforementioned song: Pulp - Underwear (I took the liberty of adding the hashtag #t=36 so that the video starts at the quoted lines).

A real example of this kind of usage in writing can be found in a BBC article on cricket.

"Whether it was when he was batting for England, or while he was stood next to him at Essex, Graham Gooch could not help but marvel at the supreme talent of Mark Waugh as a slip catcher."
From The art of slip catching on BBC.co.uk

Also in an interview featured in a BBC article on horse racing.

"I was stood at the top of the gallops watching my dad on these horses, and he was going so fast."
From Paul Hanagan on the race to be champion jockey on BBC.co.uk

In these examples, it seem to me that standing would be more appropriate.

I put up Google News searches for "was sat" and "was stood" and it would appear that usage is not uncommon.

Kind regards,
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Hi, Martin. Thanks for coming back on this. Yes, I see your point.

Hopefully, our British contingent will weigh in on this.
I don't hear it in the US, but I believe I've come across it in print.
Offhand, I don't see a grammatical explanation for it, but let me ponder on it.

I'm equally unsure about giving a good answer on your copyright question. I used to worry about it, but copyrighted material seems to be used with impunity.
I think as long as you give a link to your source, it's okay.

Regards, - A.
I have never heard "I was sat" used to mean "I was sitting," but I have heard people use it instead of "I was seated" (as in "someone seated me there"). It drives me crazy! "I was sat so far back in the theater that I couldn't hear anything." ( I realize it's a fine distinction, because of course if you have been seated somewhere you are, in fact, sitting there, but I am thinking of "I was seated there" meaning "someone told me to sit there.")
khoff"I was sat so far back in the theater that I couldn't hear anything."
I suppose the same could be said of "stood" where small children are concerned. "Someone stood me there."
Both "to seat" and "to stand" are transitive in this usage.
But I think the intention of the OP's examples is clearly intransitive.
"I was stood" is used in the same way as "I was standing," and "I was sat" is used in the same way as "I was sitting" (past continuous) or "I was seated" ("to be" plus adjective complement - not transitive passive "to be seated.")
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Well, that's even stranger, in my opinion. I hope that doesn't take hold over here!
In that context I was stood/I was sat is perfectly normal and correct usage in Northern English. See Arnold Bennett for examples.
Franklin Merrell-Wolff, a master, among other things, of English language (albeit he was American), says in his atonishing work Pathways Through to Space:"I found that a conceptual coordination, produced while one stood or sat before an audience, released, concomitantly, a current-like quality that had, among other features, the effect of holding the audience in a kind of stillness which I would describe as possessed of depth."
Since now I am translating the book, and I am Spanish, all commentaries with regard to what special connotation if any could actually have such expression in the aforesaid excerpt shall be welcomed.

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