"Get" is good English. Yet many writers want to avoid it because they consider it too informal; they prefer "obtain" or "procure." The same tendency is at work here that leads some writers to shun "before" in favor of "prior to," "later" in favor of "subsequent to," and the like. But confident, relaxed writers use the word "get" quite naturally -- e.g.: "Duke was obviously referring to some of the conference championship teams or playoff winners that either got lucky or hot during the playoffs or played an unimpressive schedule to win a conference title and gain an automatic berth." Gordon S. White Jr., "NCAA Tourney Snubs Syracuse," N.Y. Times, 9 Mar. 1981, at Cl.
Although some pedants have contended that "get" must always mean "to obtain," any good dictionary will confirm that it has more than a dozen meanings, including "to become." So the second and third bulleted examples above are quite proper. And it's entirely acceptable to use such phrases as "get sick" and "get rich."
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
The Usage Tip of the Day that Bryan Garner just sent out is so good I have to share it: