Ben Yagoda has a piece at Lingua Franca about one of the New Yorker‘s weird stylistic tics I don’t think I’d noticed:
Among the various quirks of The New Yorker‘s house style, maybe the quirkiest is the insistence on got as the past participle of get—that is, to write had got instead of had gotten to mean “become” or “obtained” or any of the numerous other senses of get. Just a few of the most recent examples:
● “I had got such satisfaction out of the systems she introduced, the sharp pencils and crisp manila folders.”—Lena Dunham, September 1, 2014
● “It drove away, but not, Kwasman told a reporter, before he had got a look at the passengers.”—Amy Davidson, July 28, 2014.
● “Kennedy got about seventy per cent of the African-American vote, much more than Stevenson had got.”—Louis Menand, July 21, 2014.
Every other publication would have used gotten. Every other publication in the United States, that is. In the British Isles, gotten got unfashionable in the early 1800s and disappeared from the scene. When Henry Higgins sings,”I think she’s got it,” he means “I think she’s gotten it,” not “I think she has it.”
I also didn’t realize how bizarre the US gotten sounds to others:
I was once interviewed on an Irish radio station about my blog, Not One-Off Britishisms, and was asked for an example of a British usage that had popped up in the United States. I mentioned The New Yorker‘s preference for got over gotten. The host was gobsmacked. “GOT-ten?” he bellowed. “GOT-ten? Do you expect me to believe people over there actually say GOT-ten?”
I like the fact that Yagoda started a Facebook group called “Get The New Yorker to Start Using ‘Gotten.’” Needless to say, it had no effect, and he’s “accepted got as a New Yorker eccentricity, like doubling consonants in words like marvellous and travelled, and being militant in identifying nonrestrictive elements of a sentence.” I wonder how a publication so strongly identified with an American city came to adopt and stubbornly cling to these very un-American usages?