Writing Tip – "Has Got" Has Got to Go

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Two phrases should be banished from the English language:

1. has got

2. have got

The contraction forms of these phrases – “he’s got,” “I’ve got,” etc. – should also be banned.

“Why this prejudice against these extremely common phrases?” you are probably asking. I’ll tell you why: It’s because they are unnecessarily long and tedious, like bad operas. They are weighed down by an unnecessary word, and that word is “got.” To illustrate my point, read the following sentences:

· I have got to go to the store.

· He has got to get over this.

· We have got to vote today.

Now read the same sentences without the “gots”:

· I have to go to the store.

· He has to get over this.

· We have to vote today.

You see? When you get rid of the “got” after a “has” or “have,” the world does not come to a stop. In fact, it’s a kinder, gentler world because it does not burden the reader with superfluous words.

The same goes for getting rid of “gots” after the contractions of “has” and “have,” as in …

· I’ve got it right here.

· She’s got a cold.

· They’ve got a grudge against gerbils.

Instead, write …

· I have it right here.

· She has a cold.

· They have a grudge against gerbils.

By following this strategy, you will not only make your writing more concise, but you will sound a bit more intelligent.

Please don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against the word “got.” I like it. I’m the first to defend its well-deserved place in the English language. I’ve even written an article about it. But you’ll have to admit there’s something guttural – almost Neanderthal – about the word. If I had opened the door to my office this morning to find a horde of hairy sub-humans running around inside beating each other with clubs and smearing my books with bananas, I can easily image them grunting “Got! Got! Got!” as if that pretty much summed it all up. It is just that kind of a word.

Don’t abandon it, however. It’s sturdy and useful. Just don’t use it after “has” or “have.” As the headline says, “has got” has got to go.

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Novella Review – Judith Ortiz Cofer, "The Myth of the Latin Woman"

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In “The Myth of the Latin Woman” Judith Ortiz Cofer breaks down the many stereotypes America has against Hispanic women. She cites a couple of common incidents that happened to her, and many other Latino’s, because of the stereotypes people have against Hispanics. The author met a man who recited “Maria” from West Side Story and another time she walked in a boat-restaurant to give her first poetry reading, and an older woman mistakenly thought she was a waitress.

The way Latino’s dress comes from a tradition in their culture. In Puerto Rica, there are many different colors all over and thus, the girls were colorful clothes and show a lot of skin because it’s hot. However, in America, people think that Latin girls were colorful clothes and show a lot of skin because they are whores or easy to get with. The author proves this is untrue after going to her first high school dance with a boy who tried to kiss her. She rejected the kiss and he mentioned something about Latin girls maturing early. The author, having learned how to deal with these situations, simply walks away.

I think that most, if not all stereotypes, are simply incorrect and have no point. It is prejudice to think certain groups of people have to dress, behave, or do anything in a certain way. Everybody is free to act as they like. If a group of Latino girls were raised to dress and act a certain way, it is a cultural issue and should not be ridiculed by anybody. I firmly believe we all have the right to do what we feel is right, and others should not interfere with that.

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