Nik and I have this on-going debate – as a matter of fact, it seems to be me against the entire East Coast. So I’m attempting a little bit of a poll to see if I am actually crazy or if we’ve come upon a true East Coast/West Coast difference.
Please carefully read the following two sentences:
A. I just dropped my glass of milk by accident.
B. I just dropped my glass of milk on accident.
The East Coasters all choose A and say that there’s no way anyone would ever choose B. I think it’s B. So, family and friends, what do you think?
BTW, this came up in my high intermediate class the other day and so I explained it to my class. They all looked at me as if I’d grown another head when I said that I thought it should be “on accident”. Clearly, even the East Coast English language learners think it’s “by”! Have I just been wrong my whole life? But I can’t be wrong – I’m a native speaker of English!
Please cast your vote today! (And if you come from a two person Xanga account – please add your name to the comment so we know who is actually voting.) I’m hoping for a large Alaskan voting
contingent and am also particularly interested in the South Dakotan’s
vote (as that will give us more of the Center’s opinion as well). I suppose Nik would also be happy if there are any East Coast readers out there who would like to vote as well. He would be pleased to get even more validation!
Well, I’ll vote! While I currently live in Arkansas (shutter-I guess it’s not really that bad), I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. So…I think of myself as a West-Coaster. And I vote for “on accident”. Love, Karyn
I think it’s B. And that’s a mid-American answer. I’m pretty sure other midwesterners would agree with me, so if this is an East vs. West debate, the middle states are siding with the West.
Oh, it’s B. But I wonder if, grammatically, it should be?
eric says on, though he thinks by is correct.i’m conflicted.
Thank you voters! Well, so far, at least I’m not feeling stupid for being the only one in the world to say “on”. Keep the votes coming!Meggan – are you conflicted because you’ve been away from New Jersey for too long? Or are you conflicted because the South Jerseyites say it differently? I figured that you would be a strong “by” vote!
I definitely grew up saying “on”…when I lived in SD I used to think people that said “by” didn’t speak very good English…sorry Nik! -LJ
I would definitely say “on”, although I wouldn’t frown upon someone who said “by.” While “by” sounds normal too, “on” is definitely my norm. This was a fun post! Love, Joy
“on” of course….why would you argue? it’s obviously correct 🙂
Well, I’m pretty sure I’ve always said by accident. It’s one of those things that I just can’t figure out because I’m thinking about it too much. Actually, now that I think about it, I always thought the “on accident” -ers were incorrect. Hmmm…I would have to throw out the “the east coast has been populated for a lot longer than the west coast and is therefore always correct” card and go with Nik. Sometime around “quarter of eight” Eric will be home again, and maybe we can go “down the shore.” Well talk about it then…did you have off school today? 😉 [Hey-at least I don’t say “wood-er.”Yes. I made the French Onion Soup-it didn’t seem like it took long because it was mostly oven time, and I did it over the course of two days. We had enough food on V-day, that we decided to eat it for Sat dinner instead. It’s pretty tasty. I’m looking forward to eating it with the cheese on top.
I have to go with “B” although, with Zona, I wonder about it grammatically. Fun blog, Laura!
I always say on. by accident sounds weird to say.so, “B” for me!
“on accident” but I’m a west coast gal with an English father (I should ask him what he would say)
it’s obviously “by”… although my fiance thinks differently… good thing i’m right though 😉 we’re fighting about it.
Well, being an east-coaster, I think “by accident” sounds correct. But the more I think about it, I believe “accidentally” would be the correct grammar.