August 13, 2004

Getting next to

My spouse Karen is reading a mystery novel called Inner City Blues by Paula Woods. Karen noticed the following interesting example:

"Lance had pulled four consecutive twelve-hour shifts at the hospital, and the strain was getting next to him." (p. 119)

Neither of us had ever heard "get next to" in this sense before -- we both use "get to" in this same sense. The characters in both instances are African American; this may be a feature of AAVE that I was not previously aware of.

Googling for {"getting next to"} is not terribly helpful, but {"really getting next to"} returns these two similar examples:

(link) At first this whole blog thing was really getting next to me, but it is ok now.
(link) I crawl onto my own bed to an anxious, impatient Jimmy Max--all that activity across from us is really getting next to him.

(That first example reminds me of Arnold's latest post.)

Googling for {"really get next to"} is even more interesting. Alongside results like these:

(link) The worst part is, I hate that I can't Remember,! I can handle this Staggering around, ! But not Remembering really get's next to Me !
(link) i have had reschedule after reschedule and its beginning to really get next to me.
(link) As I have moved to become an advocate, a promoter of our faith, I have heard and seen certain negative subtleties that really get next to me!
(link) My family some times really get next to my last nerve.

We also found the following:

(link) I love almost all types of music. Anything slow with a lot of emotion in it I can really get next to.
(link) "I think I could really get next to helping young French horn players and other classically oriented players who don't know where to start or feel their instrument has no business in jazz," Clark says.

Apparently, if something gets next to you that means it gets to you, but if you get next to something you get into it. Did my getting next to this get next to you, or did you get next to it too?

[ Comments? ]

Posted by Eric Bakovic at August 13, 2004 01:44 PM