Only in York County

Part of the USA Today Network

To be or not to be…

… that is the question which is at hand.

The topic, of course, is the idea of dropping the infinitive verb form from your sentence and using only the verb complement. Or, if that’s too ninth-grade English for you, to leave out “to be” and only say what, exactly, you’re doing.

Our dog needs to be bathed… or our dog needs bathed?

Those weeds need to be pulled… or those weeds need pulled?

One of my favorite readers, Mark from Austria, writes:

“How more York can you get? Conjuntions and the verb ‘to be’ are usually not used in daily speech. Think…The car needs fixed… Just to add a little from the European aspect, the same is true throughout most of the German speaking countries here in Central/Eastern Europe. Between Mundartzt (dialect) and the combination of long compound words (German is not such an easy language) verbs are informally shortened or omitted, primarily in speech. Just thought I would let you know.”

So, look, another “Yorksim” that doesn’t just happen in York! We’re European, baby!

What do you think? Does the “to be” serve any purpose to anyone beyond my grammar-crazed boss, Randy, and my eighth-grade English teacher, Ms. Kaltreider?