The reckoning

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Here in In Zed, people don’t think the weather will be shite tomorrow, and they don’t bet you look good on the dance floor, but they do reckon they’ll be able to grab a drink after work.

That’s not to say that people here don’t use the words think or bet in the same way as we’re used to Stateside, but it is by far more common to hear someone reckoning something or other. I thought this was a bit curious, so here’s what the Online Etymological Dictionary had to say on the matter:

reckon
O.E. gerecenian “to recount, relate,” from W.Gmc. *(ga)rekenojanan (cf. O.Fris. rekenia, M.L.G. rekenen, O.H.G. rehhanon, Ger. rechnen, Goth. rahnjan “to count, reckon”), from P.Gmc. *rakinaz “ready, straightforward,” from PIE *reg- “to move in a straight line.” I reckon, used parenthetically, is now dialectal (Southern U.S.), but dates from c.1600 and formerly was in literary use (Richardson, etc.). Related: Reckoning (c.1300).

Speech patterns and dialects: fascinating…

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