Get there first

A poster to a language log said a client of his emphatically objected to the phrase “get there first”, declaring it completely ungrammatical. A blog member straightened it all out for him and ended with this, which we should all keep in mind when dealing with shamans, mavens, scolds and guardians:

“I hope the client can be convinced. But I wouldn’t bet on it: people just dig their heels in on such matters. With their fingers in their ears they just scream that what they think they remember having once been told by an English teacher is right, and all the professional grammarians in the world are wrong and none of the evidence of usage is relevant. Explaining to them that grammatically their head is stuck in a bodily aperture where the sun never shines is even trickier when they are the client and you are working for them and you’d like to keep the contract.”

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