Somebody again today pointed this out to me. I tend to be very articulate when it comes to using the English language. As in using a lot of big, fancy words that most people don’t (correctly of course.), Yet I not infrequently in conversation will use “gonna” and “wanna”, and even “oughta”. I’m quite aware this isn’t the sort of usage expected from a college educated person. Surely I would have never used such in an essay in advanced philosophy course years ago. And most definitely not in an e-mail to the big shots at the corporation I work for. However, in everyday usage, even with highly educated folks, it is pretty much the norm for me to use “gonna” and “wanna” in a sentence. I don’t know quite why. Perhaps in part Janis Ian has long been my favorite musical artist, and “gonna” is repeatedly used in the lyrics of “Society’s Child”. Or perhaps just because these words roll of the tongue easy. “It’s not gonna work” flows smoothly for me, while “It’s not going to work” just seems odd.
How do you consider the acceptabilty of such in spoken English? A venial linguistic sin? A mortal linguistic sin? Or just common enough usage today it can be ignored? I just checked Google.
Results 1 - 100 of about 10,000,000 for gonna
Results 1 - 100 of about 11,000,000 for wanna
I’m obviously not the only person fluent in English who uses these words. Languages do evolve. English speakers today don’t use the same words Shakespeare did. My contention is that in 2005 it is OK to use “gonna” and “wanna”. I’ve yet to encounter someone who spoke English who didn’t understand what I meant. And this includes a lot of folks who learned English as a second language.
I just hope I “ain’t gonna” have to spend a long time in linguistic purgatory after I am dead for defiling the English language.