Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Sudden Change

I don't only wonder about traffic jams. I also wonder about language. In the article linked to in the post below, we find the following quote:
"You're stuck in traffic until all of the sudden it just clears," says Morris.
Forgive me if I've brought this up before, because I stopped checking such things a while back. But: Huh? I've known a few of my friends to use "all of the sudden." And there's no real pattern: Northerners, southerners, etc.

The proper phrase has always been "all of a sudden." I guess if "the sudden" keeps catching on, it might battle for supremacy. I have no idea where it came from, though.


Blogger Kraig Smith said...

I feel like I've heard it and used it both ways for most of my life.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Spender said...

It seemed to begin with college athletes, most especially those from the south.
I was born and lived in Texas most of my life - since 1954 - but this use of "all of the sudden" and the even more annoying "all the sudden" seems a fairly recent development.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, I found your post because I was wondering why suddenly I not only HEAR "all of the sudden", but I read it, even in print. I'm in my sixties, and never heard it with "the" until the past few years. It's not easier to say, so I can't imagine why "the" is becoming the popular way to say it among younger people.

Younger people also say "anyways" where I would say "anyway" (as in, "Anyway, we decided to go to lunch", or "Anyway, then he got up and left."

11:30 PM  

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