Thursday, November 15, 2007

Give or Take

I got a flu shot at work yesterday. It's not quite mandatory, but the Nursing Supervisor will be down every day to bully you until you consent. It's not a bad idea anyway, since I'm in the sick people business and the flu mightily sucks.

But I was talking about it with a coworker and she said, "I never take a flu shot." That sounded weird to me. I would have said, "I never get a flu shot." To me, take is something you actively do...take a pill, take a friend to lunch, etc. Get is something that's bestowed on you...get a gift, get a sharp stick in the eye.

Now I wonder if the two...take and get...are interchangeable in this situation, or if that's one of those examples of Southern Illinois language butchery, like the use of "whenever" instead of 'when", like in this sentence:

"Whenever I went to the doctor's office, he said I should take the flu shot."

So what do you think? Take or get? Which do you do?


marl said...

i "get" a flu shot.

i "take" pills.

you're right.

i'd bet that this person wasn't born in the US.

SP said...

Wow, that example sentence actually made me twitchy!

You definitely "get" a shot. Although, you can "take" a shot of the alcoholic sort.
And as for the "whenever" thing, I think my head would implode if I heard that more than once in a day.

Ev said...

Ha! Marl, you're wrong. All of the native Southern Illinoisans I'll polled today said they would "take" a flu shot.

Although I'm willing to concede that Southern Illinois may not be America.

Kwach said...

Weird. I think I might be caught saying, "I never take the flu shot," but I have an excuse! I'm acknowledging that someone is wanting to give it to me ... and I'm not taking it.

Then again, I'm the same person who recently uttered something so shockingly Southern Illinoisan that it made both Ev and I gasp. It started with "I'ze" instead of "I was" and ended with a dangling participle the size of Texas.


I would not get a flu shot if asked to and I would not take one if offered one.

Suzanne said...

Today I learned that New Yorkers say they wait on line, whereas normal people (ie - transplanted Midwesterners) say in line. Because just like you don't take a shot, a line is not something one stands on. Somehow I managed to miss that distinction in the 13 years I've lived here. Interesting.


I think taking a flu shot sounds more like someone's doing it to you and "taking' sounds more like you opted to have it. I had the "whenever" discussion on another blog recently. I knew a woman who used threw whenevers into every sentence "I had to go back to work whenever my husband took a heart attack". (Another interesting use of the word "take") Never heard anyone say they were waiting on line unless they were talking about the internet.