I have got a question

This front page really jumped out at me yesterday. And not just because of the odd choice of the first person.

Where do you stand on have+got or has+got? I can’t think of many instances of the ‘got’ being necessary.

When you’re leading up to an adjective (“he’s got old” or “she’s got tired of working”), it’s needed (though of course “he’s aged” or “she’s tired of working” would do fine).

But when you’re talking about possession, it seems not only unnecessary but also clumsy. What’s wrong with “I have a secret lovechild”? (That’s not a moral question, I hasten to add.

I have a cold, I have a house in France, he has an exam tomorrow, she has bad breath… all of these read better without the got.

Does anyone know of a good argument for including it? Or, in this case, is it a play on some famous Arnie quote that I’m missing?

PS. Watch out for the behead beast.

Bonus post

Here’s another picture for you. It’s the menu for the Which? canteen. Now let me first state that I have had many, many lovely meals from the canteen. And let me also state that I do understand that the chefs and waiting staff are employed for their cooking and serving skills, not their writing. Okay? So don’t shout at me.

Take a look. No, no, not at the apostrophe crimes – we’re beyond that. Take a look at the salad bar bit along the bottom.

Honestly, it’s a nightmare. You go there for a bit of couscous salad, and you come away with instructions to write all your darkest thoughts down on a piece of paper and float it out to sea at sunset while breathing deeply and visualising your new life.

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