Thursday, September 11, 2008

Fix Your Thinking's Got Proper Grammar


So, my wife and I were having a grammar debate last night. It's one of the many reasons I love her ... because I love to debate about grammar and love word play.

So does the television show America's Got Talent use proper grammar in its name?

Is it ok to contract "America has" to "America's"? And is it proper grammar to say "America has got talent"?

I say yes to both. 

She says that it must say, "America has talent." (Making it just, "America's Talent"

What do you say?

By the way, I'm pulling for Nuttin' But Strings






9 comments:

channelZ said...

Yes.

"America" is being used as a pronoun in the sentence.

I could replace "America" with any pronoun.

You can make a contraction with "has"

You could say, "He's got talent!"

I regularly hear, "Now he's got talent!"


reference:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/he

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraction_(grammar)

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/talent

In this entry for talent at dictionary.com observe defintion number 3 where the sentence below is given as an example.

The cast includes many of the theater's major talents.

This sentence could be shortened to;

"The theater's got talent."

Hope this answers your debate.

donna.smith said...

It is not grammatically correct to use "got" with "has".

Wrong: America's Got Talent (America Has Got Talent)

Right: America has talent (America's Talent)

Also applies to "have got".

Wrong: I have got two apples.

Right: I have two apples or I've two apples.

Jensonb said...

Grammatically, "America's Got Talent" is acceptable. From a marketing perspective, the "Got" is completely necessary.

You see, unfortunately, some people would assume "America's Talent" meant either "America IS Talent" which is nonsense or "America's (Possessive) Talent" meaning the show was about the talent America (As an entity) has.

"America's Got Talent" removes the ambiguity and is therefore more grammatically correct than "America's Talent" (Though both technically are acceptable) AND also better for branding.

fixyourthinking said...

America's Talent would be a possessive.

America's Got Talent is not - it is meant as a contraction.

fixyourthinking said...

Thanks JensonB ... that's how I see it too.

Jack Campbell said...

I agree with your position.

It's got merit.

Anonymous said...

Why not "America Has Talent" it is grammatically correct and leaves out any ambiguity?

Anonymous said...

America's (possessive) Got Talent is poor grammar usage-period. America Has Talent! is without question proper usage. All other word play is both annoying and insulting - even if it's for marketing purposes.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, America's got talent. No English majors, but an abundance of talent.