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Mimishu1995's avatar

Native English speakers, how do you feel about the use of "gonna", "gotcha", "gotta"...?

Asked by Mimishu1995 (20027points) June 21st, 2014

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel that it is a bit too casual. It looks like some kind of slang. In short, I don’t like it.

One of my classmates uses that a lot, almost everywhere. I know she is heavily influence by pop songs and pop culture. I have heard her say “gonna” many times during a presentation. She never uses “going to”. And that annoys me a little since we are at a presentation.

What do you think of the use of “gonna”, “gotcha”, “gotta”...?

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46 Answers

johnpowell's avatar

I’m cool if they are capitalized at the beginning of a sentence.

zenvelo's avatar

My seventh grade English teacher called it “slurvian”, her name for sloppy diction. For me, it’s really a matter of when and where.

At work, I fully pronounce and don’t elide. Around friends and in casual conversations, I pronounce word that way. And I use those spellings in casual text communications, whether they be text or email. I generally avoid it here on Fluther unless it’s a very casual thread, or I set it apart with quotation marks.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Never in print (well, unless trying to be funny), but frequently in speech.

jerv's avatar

If it’s too casual for you, then you will have difficulty speaking to most Americans. And while many may be a bit more proper when writing, there are also many like myself who write the way we speak, so you’re gonna run into issues.

Then again, there is some debate as to whether Americans actually speak English as opposed to some bastard offspring that is loosely in the same linguistic family….

Pachy's avatar

Language evolves whether we like it or not.

dxs's avatar

I don’t mind it at all.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

I think it’s gnarly and tubular that gotta and gotcha are possibly gonna become a part of your American vocabulary!
I mean far out girl!

Berserker's avatar

Why the hell is it that every two weeks, someone posts a question saying they don’t like just about my entire vocabulary haha. XD And I’m not even American.

JLeslie's avatar

I only use those when I have already established I speak English well and when I know my audience. I don’t use language like that right off the bat with someone, plus I usually use slang language for emphasis or to be funny or cute, depending on the situation. Also, if the people around me are using those words I might use some to match them so everyone is speaking similarly. When in Rome I tend to bend a little towards the Roman way.

trailsillustrated's avatar

You have too much time on your hands. jesus h

DAVEJAY100's avatar

To be fair I think all English speaking countries use “Gonna”, “gotcha” and “gotta” casually, There was even an English tv fun program over here in UK called “Gotcha”. The only “Americanised” word that slightly irritates me is “Gotten”, now that does bug me somehow. lol.

JLeslie's avatar

@DAVEJAY100 My grandmother used to correct me if I used gotten or got, she hated it. I try not to use either word. I don’t think I ever use gotten, but got is such an easy, lazy, word to use, I do find myself using it.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Don’t tell me I’m getting too old or too formal :( I just don’t know why I don’t like those words…

JLeslie's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Maybe you don’t like them because they are slang. Or, maybe most of the people around you using English dont say it, so it sounds incorrect. Sarah Palin, who ran for Vice President with John McCain in the US not long ago, was made fun of in the press for saying gotcha. In the US some parts of the country say it more than others.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@JLeslie Or, maybe most of the people around you using English dont say it, so it sounds incorrect.

Yeah, that’s most likely the explanation.

CWMcCall's avatar

Since you axed, imo it sux.

jerv's avatar

In my travels, I’ve noticed that the countries where English is not the native language tend to be more formal and proper in their English than places like Australia or the US. I am sure that you, @Mimishu1995, are probably a bit more lax in your native tongue than most of us would be if we picked it up as a second language. It makes sense since a native speaker of any language will be more versed in the “unwritten rules” than non-native speakers, and thus more accepting of violations of the formal rules.

Of course, how you learn a language also has an effect. Those that learn a language through academic means (like school) will be more formal than one who picks it up through immersion like most people learn their native tongue. Most people speak their native language with no formal education at all,learning it as it’s actually used instead of how textbooks say it “should” be used. And it’s that difference that makes the difference.

Even within the same language, there are things that irk other native speakers since it’s not how we learned the language. I live in an apartment, not a flat. I drink soda, not pop. My trash goes into a dumpster, not a skip, and it gets picked up by a truck instead of a lorrie.

JLeslie's avatar

@Mimishu1995 What @jerv mentions is true. People who learn English as a secnd language usually learn the more formal or proper use of English, which makes perfect sense because that is the dialect most likely to be understood by all English speakers. Supposedly, Americans who use a lot of slang should still be able to understand and speak regular old close to gramatically correct English when necessary.

However, my husband speaks English as a second language and his English is often better than a lot of people I know who we’re born right here in the USA and made it through high school.

I know sometimes schools will teach some slang, and also differences in English from one country to the next. Possibly you are taught American English rather than the accent and dialect In England. I have no idea what parts of Asia tend to teach.

When I learned Spanish in school it was Mexican or other arts of Latin America, not Spain Spanish.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

When I learned Spanish in school it was Castillian Spanish.
Our English teachers taught us quite proper English. They also taught us to be quite formal and correct.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dan_Lyons Castllian Spanish was taught to you in America?

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Si senorita bonita @JLeslie. En Los Estado Unidos. In mi escuela secundaria. Yo estaba viviendo en la ciudad de Los Angeles entonces.

JLeslie's avatar

@Dan_Lyons In Los Angeles? Around all those Mexicans they taught you a Castillian accent? Makes no sense. They had you pronouncing s, ce, ci, and z as th? And, you regularly used vosotros in conversation? I was taught vosotros for conjugating verbs, but we rarely practiced it verbally. We certainly did not use the Castillian “lisp” verbally.

Mexico has several words they use differently than most of the Spanish speaking world, so I actually was not taught Spanish very specific to Mexico. I was taught torta means cake not sandwich for instance. Maybe using torta for sandwich is actually considered slang, I am not sure, or if it is just a different use of the word. I was taught baga and perizoso for lazy, but my Mexican side of the family uses flojo. My Mexican side also would almost never use brava when a person is angry, but other parts of Latin America readily do, similar to Americans using mad.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

I went to a catholic high school run by jesuits. My Spanish teacher was from Castile Spain. Of course this was over 40 years ago so I don’t remember it all. But I do recall being able to communicate with many Mexicans much more easily knowing the Castilian Spanish than not knowing any at all.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, Catholic school. That makes more sense. Not to mention your teacher was from Spain, making even more sense. I usually think in terms of public schools when making generalizations. You probably remember mass being said in Latin when you were a child also.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Remember? Hahaha, I was an altar boy. I rang the bell and lit the incense. ^^

Strauss's avatar

II use those terms all the time, except in the case of a presentation or speech. I think I would still say something like: ”...You’re gonna wanna do this…”

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Many of these slangs are used on purpose to convey something more than their proper counterparts do. Such as “ain’t gonna happen”. We know what that means, but if you say “it isn’t likely to transpire”, that doesn’t exactly mean the same thing. Speech is for communication, and as long as your words are conveying your meaning in a clear and precise manner, it can’t be wrong.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

BTW The Spanish I learned in school was the formal language of Spain, and was useless. When I married my Hispanic husband, then I learned some useful Spanish. In school, I never learned mijo or mija, cabron, manteca, huevos, and some other choice words.

dxs's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt I’m taking college-level Spanish classes and I’m scared this will happen. However, the professors I’ve had are from Latin American countries, and add their input on things a lot and tend to explain colloquialisms, but I still fear I’ll be speaking a really different type of Spanish that may not be useful to me.

JLeslie's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt You never learned mi hija? I know you are just spelling like it is said, the conjugated form is used even in writing in come countries, but either way I would think it is easily figured out. When you say huevos, do you mean the slang for testicles? Or, actually huevos? Huevos are eggs in every country as far as I know. Does Spain use a different word?Also, what is Manteca in Spain? It varies around Latin America too a little. Some countries use Manteca only for lard, others for various forms of “fat” they might specify manteca de credo. Mantaquilla is usually butter and margarina for margarine. But, it varies even within the Americas. I dont think any teacher is going to teach cabrón, especially not k-12 level students. Your husband sounds like maybe he is the one using slang. Slang is different than different words and pronounciations be used. Using flat instead of apartment, lift instead of elevator, rubber instead of eraser, rubbish instead of garbage, and biscuit instead of cookie, isnt really wrong or slang.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@JLeslie Good points! I never learned Mi Hija in Spanish class. I never heard huevos used as a slang for balls. My husband called his cousin “Manteca” (he was chubby), and the other cousin “cabron.” He said it meant “goat”. His cousin, Manteca, named his dog Lobo, which gave me another word I didn’t know (wolf). His cousins called him Ojo Muerto (dead eye). I am just saying that I learned more Spanish from my husband than a year of Spanish in school – the Spanish that is actually used by Spanish-speaking people, even though my husband and his family’s first language is English.

JLeslie's avatar

LMAO! I love it that the nickname was Manteca. How awful. Hahahaha. Cabrón is goat, but in some countries it is also used in a vulgar way, like a curse word.

I don’t see how you can get through any Spanish class that is a year long and not learn the words mi and hija. Didn’t they teach you; mom, dad, sister, brother, daughter, son, cousin, grandma, and a few others?

Is your husband Mexican?

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

They taught us very formal Spanish in class. No, never heard mi hija until my mother-in-law called me that. I was never taught any words that I could actually work into my daily life, like “pica”. My sister-in-law once was picking stickers out of her socks, and said she had “pica’s” in her socks.

My late husband was Hispanic – the nearest we could tell is that they were descendants from Spanish settlers, though. No ties to Mexico that we can find. The family has been here since who knows when, and even though they could speak Spanish, they all speak English as their first language. His last name is Vallejo. Could be relatives of the guy that settled Vallejo, California.

JLeslie's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Hoestly, I am not clear from what you said that you were taught Spain Spanish. All I know is that you were not taught slang words. I’ll ask you the same as I asked the other jelly above, we’re you taught to say the “s” sound like th? Like a lisp? That is how Spain pronounces that sound. Plus, the use of vosotros.

My Ecuadorian boyfriend never trilled his r’s, he pronounced double L and double r as ja, in contrast to my husband who trills r’s, and double L is like a pronounced like the English Y. My Mexican husband’s family never uses the second person plural, while the Ecuadorians did at times.

All the nicknames and the expressions you used sound very Mexican to me. I don’t doubt the family came directly from Spain to the US, I just findnit interesting, since of course many Mexicans are descended from Spanish settlers in Mexico, while some other Latin American countries have strong influences from other parts of Europe. Plus, no matter where the family is from, being in California they simply are around a lot of Mexicans and I am sure pick up some of the expressions.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

We were taught basic things in school, like como esta, muy bien gracias, and how to count, colors, and months of the year, como se llama, you know – really basic stuff.

No, my husband didn’t lisp his “s” sound. I am sure you’re right, their Spanish is more like the Mexicans. My sister-in-law was upset when her daughter was being taught Spain-Spanish in school, when she said it would be more helpful in this country to learn the Mexican-Spanish.

The story from the family is that they were just simple farmers in New Mexico when it was still a part of Mexico. They didn’t immigrate to this country, they just went to bed one night in Mexico and woke up the next morning in America. Vallejo is more of a Spain surname than a Mexican one, so that is why I think they were descendants of Spanish settlers.

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, so basically they are Mexicans. They were in the territory of Mexico. All of the Americas had a ton of immigration. My husband is Mexican, but he is not descended from the indigenous population. His family immigrated from Israel, Spain and France, but he is still Mexican, just like my family came from Latvia and Russia, but I am still American. I understand why you emphasize that he is Spanish though. Probably he took pride in it, although I find Mexicans not to be very concerned to ethnicity, meaning not discriminating based on country of origin.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Yes, I don’t have a problem either way, but they look different than the average Mexican. They are taller, lighter skinned, more defined facial features. Some of his relatives are redheaded, freckled, and green eyes. You would swear that my husband’s brother is white, but my husband had black hair, brown eyes and was quite dark, high cheekbones – he looked much like those handsome Indian braves in the old western movies.

JLeslie's avatar

There is no such thing as average Mexican really. They had lots of immigration like all of the Americas. My husband looks right out of a mediteranean country. It’s just that the majority of Mexicans that come here have a lot of Indian in them. Just like Americans think Italians usually have olive skin and black hair. Northern Italy is full of very pale, tall, fair haired people. But, most of the Italians and Sicilians who came to America were from the south, and brought over their pizzas and red sauce. My BIL’s mother makes lasagna without red sauce. It’s some mushrooms and a cheese mixture between the layers.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

I guess that is a generalization, but we have had a lot of Mexican immigrants pouring into the west in the last decade, and they really do look completely different than the ones that have been here for generations. They don’t even look like the same race. It is the same with the natives in Africa (where I lived for 6 years) and the African Americans here. I am not just generalizing when you can tell the difference a mile away.

JLeslie's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Many of the African Americans in America have partly caucasian blood, so our black people tend to be lighter than black people in Africa. That’s what I mean, you can’t go by what people look like in America to generally represent what the people in the “orginal” country look like. I am agreeing that where people are from does influence what they look like, I am not trying to say no races or ethnicities exist, and I do agree that some countries have a predominance of people with certain features.

In America it is not unsual for someone to see a “girl next door” blonde and it is unlikely someone will ask her, “where is your family from?” While an Asian girl might be asked all the time. It might be the blonde that is the new immigrant though.

Ethnicity and race is ridiculous in some ways in America. Like my white, blond, barbie doll looking neighbor who filled out the school form and checked the box African American for her son to give him a better chance to get in a magnet school. She came to America when she was 16 from South Africa. She probably identifies more with Africa than any of my black friends.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Ha-ha! My daughter-in-law is also from South Africa, and totally white, but she could claim African American if it would be to her benefit, because that’s what she is, technically.

And, yes, as generations go by, there is definitely the “melting pot” effect, which brings us all ever closer to “one race fits all.” And I think that is why it is surprising to me to observe a race of people who, for one reason or another, has not moved out of a closed society for a hundred years or more, and as a result have a very distinct “look” about them that they all share. It is simply biology, the larger the gene pool, the more diversity.

JLeslie's avatar

It’s just in America, African American is listed as a race, and being from the continent of America has nothing to do with race. My husband is Hispanic Caucasian on the census, if you consider Israeli, Spanish and French Caucasian. America does technically. Hispanic is not a race.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

Yeah, well “white” is not a race, either. Some are of Dutch descent, some are English, or French, or Scandinavian, Swiss, German, Irish, Italian, Greek. Most are a mix of one or two of these, but not of the others. By the way, this leads to a question I have always had – Are people from Spain considered “Hispanic” or “White”? If Hispanic, then why are all the neighboring countries around them considered white?

JLeslie's avatar

White is a race. As long as you are not one of those people who insists there are no races, just the human race. I only use Hispanic for people in Latin America. If someone is from Spain I call them Spanish. I don’t personally really like the word Hispanic, I prefer to name the country or say Latin American. It all becomes ridiculous. Very close friends of mine are Venezuelan American, except that the parents, who I am very very close with, are Italian-Venezuelan and if you ask them what they are they would always answer Italian, they just lived in Venezuela.

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

No, I am not one of those people. I just don’t understand.

I guess, then, there would be a limited number of race classifications; white, black, oriental, pacific islander, and Hispanic, and we all fit into one of those, albeit loosely. Except the eskimos, American Indians, oh – and India Indians, middle easterners. Okay, I give up.

JLeslie's avatar

Hispanic is not a race. :) Although, I don’t get my panties in a bunch when people use it that way. I understand they are defining that group, and sociologically there is validity in it. I think right now in America we divide race into white, black, Asian, Native American, and Polynisian more or less. Those are the same races I learned 30 years ago in jr or high school actually. My husband, who is from the mediteranean part of the world, or I should say his genetics are, he was born and raised in MX, if you look at him I think you could easily argue he is a different race, and he even has some genetic things that are most common people from the mediteranean part of the world. I have very pale, pink undertone skin and blue eyes. He has olive skin, curly black hair, and amber brown eyes. But, he is white, because people from the middle east are classified as white here. Not that it necessarily is the right way or wrong way, it is just how it is.

Edit: Here is the census form from 2010 if you want to see how the US was classifying people.

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