When I recently wrote a post about mad and nutter I considered including one additional Britishism indicating insanity. I ultimately decided not to because the chance of any American using seemed closer to slim than none.
I did not count on the New Yorker. Reading the August 1 issue of that publication this morning, I came upon this sentence from Sasha Frere-Jones: “My Morning Jacket, on the recently released album ‘Circuital,’ its sixth, makes it clear that the real hippie is neither biddable nor daft.”
That’s right, daft. Wikipedia
informs me that Frere-Jones is an American, Manhattan-born, though it also notes “he is a grandson of Alexander Stuart Frere, the former chairman of the board of William Heinemann Ltd, the British publishing house, and a great-grandson of the novelist Edgar Wallace
, who wrote many popular pulp novels, though he is best known for writing the story for the film King Kong.”
Turning to the New Yorker’s merciless online database
, I find that Frere-Jones has used daft
eleven times since 2005. This gives him a narrow lead over the magazine’s (American) film critic David Denby, with eight.
I have noted the New Yorker’s insistence on having its writers use the British “had got” instead of American “had gotten.” But the magazine seems to have kicked things up a notch; now, people being quoted are required to use it as well. In an April 25 profile of Reed Krakoff, CEO of Coach Leather, Krakoff recalls a period when “I had got poison ivy on my hands.”‘ I submit that every American, of which Krakoff is one, would have said gotten. Anyone disagree?