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Is it "get there firstest with the mostest" or "git thar furstest with the mostest?" Davis uses the latter, and again some of it sounds a little like phonics to me. I mean looking in a dictionary the spelling for the pronunciation of first is furst. Though firstest and mostest aren't words as far as I'm aware. In another dictionary the spelling for the pronunciation of there is thar or ther (I'm looking up in the pronunciation in the Encarta World English Dictionary and the tenth edition Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary on CD-ROM, right now their easier for me to find vs. the actual book version of one of the several dictionaries I've got here).
Even with his lack of a formal education I still believe his grammar is better than what kids grammar is becoming today, thanks in a large part to texting and other factors. Could that letter have used some help? Yes, it looks to me like two run-on sentences instead of two seperate paragraphs. Though we can probably figure out where a sentence ends and begins. But there have been times I've seen words that are used wrong by kids today because they sound like the right word. And these are kids in high school and college. Like there may be a sentence that reads "if you go their you'll be glad you did" or "they put there gloves on because it was cold out." Now it's one thing if it happens once, maybe twice. I mean maybe you got in a rush or were tired. Or maybe you got distracted and didn't realize what you were doing. Mistakes happen, and when words sound alike or close enough to each other it can be easy to understand. But what about when the same mistake happens numerous times in something a person has done and it keeps appearing in their subsequent writings is it really a mistake or is there something wrong there?
I'm not a teacher, and I expect my own grammar leaves a lot to be desired. But I have looked online at some of these kids writings in forums as well as the fact that I volunteer on a yearly basis for the local DI program. I see it less in the program with what high school kids have written (if I see mistakes like that their more often made by the little kids), though when it comes up it's got just about all appraisers scratching our heads and trying to figure things out or having to grab one of the kids and ask them what it says. This letter was a little easier to figure out than that. And I think there's very soon going to come a time when Forrest's non-formal education will look like a formal education in comparison to today's kids.
I believe what the General actually said was "Get there FIRST with the MOST"
The "git and thar" business may or may not have been said, but the "firstest and mostest" was, I believe, a myth