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


Anonymous said...


"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!"


In this entry for talent at 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.

Anonymous 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.

Paul Douglas 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.

FYT said...

America's Talent would be a possessive.

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

FYT said...

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

Jack Campbell said...

I agree with your position.

It's got merit.