December 24, 2004

Staying and living

Another quick follow-up on Geoff's note regarding stay vs. live: I think stay is used instead of (or at least synonymously with) live in at least some varieties of English. While riding BART from Oakland to Concord once (maybe 10 years ago), a 40-something African American man and I struck up a conversation. At one point the man asked me, "Where do you stay?" (Maybe it was "Where you stay?" -- I was too struck by the use of stay to remember that detail.) "I live in Walnut Creek," I replied, with contrastive stress on live to emphasize that I wasn't just passing through. "What about you?" The man replied, with no particular emphasis, "I stay in Oakland."

From the rest of our conversation, I gathered the man had lived in Oakland all his life.

[ Comments? ]

Posted by Eric Bakovic at December 24, 2004 06:43 AM