At Language Log, Arnold Zwicky catches one David Blaustein describing an author (Keith Banner) as awash in the "curious grammar" of Ohio when all Banner is doing is using working-class and colloquial speech that's not particularly regional at all. Zwicky has an interesting theory to account for this. My only contribution (aside from the post title) is to confirm Zwicky's statement that the bits of Ohio dialect that Banner doesn't use are found outside of Ohio.
The two things that the American Dialect Society cites are want/need + past participle ("This shirt needs washed") and positive "anymore" ("Gas is really expensive anymore"). The first one is the second thing that anyone will cite when discussing Pittsburghese, after "yinz" as second person plural, and positive "anymore" is also quite common.
(Incidentally, the reason "This shirt needs washed" is frequently cited as an example of this construction is that "wash" is pronounced "worshed" in Pittsburghese--leading me to think it's probably also pronounced the same way in the South/Eastern Ohio dialect the ADS folk cited.)
Elsewhere at LL, Mark Liberman cites James McGreevey's use of "the courage to be open about whom I was." Liberman thinks that in this construction "whom" is being treated as the object of "about" but I'm not so sure. "Whom I was" construction is used in place of "who I was" seemingly regardless of what came before. In particular, in
I lost the person whom I was and the more time goes by, the more I believe that the person I was is lost to me forever now
there's nothing for "whom" to be the object of. So I think the occasional substitution of "whom I was" for "who I was" might be symptomatic of overall confusion about use of "whom" rather than anything so orderly as treating "whom" as an object of a nearby thing that takes objects.
(Incidentally, if you use the common rule of substituting "she" for "who" and "her" for "whom" and seeing which sounds better, you should say "whom I was." No one says "It was I.")Posted by Matt Weiner at November 11, 2004 02:45 PM