Sorcery and Cecilia and Desert Island books

Mark Allums mallums at
Thu Jan 13 16:22:12 EST 2005

Anna Z Skarzynska wrote:
> Granted, but it is my impression that 'to get hold of something' in the
> sense of 'acquire' is a relatively recent meaning; I understand it only used
> to mean 'to grasp', and only in its completely literal sense, so 'I got hold
> of the book' meant 'I grabbed the book in/with my hand', or indeed 'I TOOK
> hold of the book', not 'I acquired the book'.

I use "got" and "gotten" in the sense of "acquired" quite often.  It's 
perfectly natural to me to use it that way.  I'm American (Southern), 
for reference.  I would read passages such as the ones you quote quite 

Speaking of Deserted Island books, has that thread been done on this 
list?  I often enjoy seeing what other people consider essential. 
Personally, I'd leave Shakespeare at home.  The Lord of the Rings 
deserves to be read every so often, though, so it would probably end up 
on my list.  I'd only want a dictionary if I were reading a difficult 
passage or doing research, so the OED is out.  I think that I could live 
without the Bible if I were truly alone there for an extended period. 
Instead, I'd want something escapist that would stand up to rereading. 
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass come to mind.

--Mark A.

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