Illustration by Kalah Allen

I cannot believe what I hear out of the mouths of Portlanders and Oregonians. I understand people pick different words, have altered dialect and intonations, but to lose tense altogether? I saw a package in my shipping department labeled, "This box needs shipped," so I scribbled over it, "This box needs TO BE shipped." It's still here—"shipped" is past tense, so it either needs to be shipped or has been shipped, but here it is. Then someone told me their house "needs painted." The house has either been painted or needs to be painted, but it cannot "needs painted." I've heard "motorsickle," "crick," "car needs warshed." Cycle, creek, wash—damn. Is this what happens when libraries get under-funded? Nobody in a group that heard "I'm orientated" even corrected the guy. I'm Canadian and I may yelp out "Eh?," or be all-inclusive when I say, "all y'all," or I may call "you guys," but I never "needs spoke." If it already came out of your mouth it's spoken. If you haven't said it yet, it needs to be spoken. I came here in 1989, thinking all the smart people came west. Is it Medford these people needs go to? WOW, the dumbassification of America is scary.—Anonymous