Wine-buff Víctor de la Serna (via Carlos Ferrero) has nailed Domecq Bodegas for an amusing slip on the otherwise impeccable site, “When did you born?” I haven’t really looked for literary or scientific evidence, and I’m pretty ignorant of non-me dialectal forms, but I’d hazard that this form is actually quite common among some groups of native and non-native English speakers. I can’t work out, though, whether the interrogative classifies the child as object (“When did your mother bear you?”) or subject (“When, ignoring your mother’s groans and your father’s tears, did you decide to leap into this dangerous world?”).
BTW, “did” doesn’t preclude the former – take this intriguing census-operative/citizen exchange from 1970s Gambia:
Q. When did you born this child?
Q. What is “Digi”?
A. Month before “Gamo”?
Q. When was that?
For me this confusion remains in some affirmatives:
I did born blonde & light ash blonde its like a strawberry blonde which i DONT want at all i want a light pretty blonde so should i use a different dye to do after? Not only that the ash i think kinda made it like a little green weird lol. So what dye do i get to take out the strawberry look and greenish lol
However I feel on slightly safer ground in the conversation between Balu and a ghost in I Am Not Intelligent, an extremely curious novel written in Indian English by Oscarbond:
“Who are you?”
“I am Arinchar Anna, the former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu.”
“When did you born?”
“I born on 15-09-1909 in Kanchipuram…”
In various traditions future leaders take charge before they are born. Here’s Joan Baez singing the Cherry-Tree Carol:
Then up spoke Baby Jesus,
from in Mary’s womb:
“Bend down the tallest tree,
that my mother might have some.”
And bent down the tallest branch
till it touched Mary’s hand;
Cried she, “Oh look thou, Joseph,
I have cherries by command.”
Unfortunately no one seems to have studied extensively the infant utterances of superheroes and other chief ministers, and Keith Chen has more serious business at hand. But I wager that sooner or later maternity wards will fill up with a swollen sect muttering grammatical instructions to their unborn – “Say ‘I born myself’ to the nurse, and who knows where you’ll end up!” And at night missionaries of the Church of Chomsky will emerge from the shadows to bore and distract.
- French lessons: Grannie on her bike rides across the pool
Boby Lapointe, an obsessive, deranged comic genius who seems to have drunk himself to death aged 50, points to one of
- Author Translation, a literary translation agency
The excellent Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware, dedicated to exposing literary scams, has discovered Author Translation. This agency appears to specialise
- Spanish noun-adjective semantic ambiguity
None of the immediate context enables one to say whether the South Tangier refugee relief committee was anxious to grasp Helena
- The divine prohibition of bullfighting in English and Cagancho in Almagro: whatever won’t be, won’t be
Programmes are rarely distributed at bullfights, and are never translated into English. There is an excellent reason for this, recounted over
- Worst ever Spanish covers of English-language songs?
I haven’t talked to any of the perpetrators, but I have little doubt that the principal cause of what we regard