Has something got your goat? Owners have yet to claim found animal, RCMP say

Has something got your goat? Owners have yet to claim found animal, RCMP say


Has something got your goat? Owners have yet to claim found animal, RCMP say
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Anyone who is missing a goat or knows someone who is should contact Const. Stephanie Butterill of Desmarais RCMP at 780-891-3768

This article and the photo of the missing goat were in today’s Edmonton Journal.

We use an idiom, saying that something or someone “gets our goat”, to mean that something annoys us.  According to “The Phrase Finder” the phrase originated in the US, in the early 1900s, and it was used in the UK around 1924:

“That had got the chairman’s goat! – Got his goat? What expressions they used nowadays!”

Got and gotten is another interesting distinction.  In UK English, one must always use “got” as the past participle: “I have got sick of chocolate”.  In American English, “gotten” is usually used as the past participle:

According to English Language & Usage:

Gotten is probably the most distinctive of all the AmE/BrE grammatical differences, but British people who try to use it often get it wrong.

It is not simply an alternative for have got. Gotten is used in such contexts as

  • They’ve gotten a new boat. (= obtain)

  • They’ve gotten interested. (= become)

  • He’s gotten off the chair. (= moved)

    But it is not used in the sense of possession (= have). AmE does not allow

  • *I’ve gotten the answer.

  • *I’ve gotten plenty.

but uses I’ve got as in informal BrE. The availability of gotten does however mean that AmE can make such distinctions as the following:

  • They’ve got to leave (they must leave)

  • They’ve gotten to leave (they’ve managed to leave).

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