Eighteen months or so ago I wrote a post about John le Carré, because I’d discovered that, like Kingsley Amis, Len Deighton and Ian McEwan, he too writes metalinguistic usage comments in his novels. My post then was about a comment on who/whom, this time the comment is about the use of got without have, which le Carré attributes to American usage. The quotation is from Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy (1974):
‘I won’t be quoted, George,’ the Minister warned in his lounging drawl. ‘No minutes, no packdrill. I got voters to deal with. You don’t. Nor does Oliver Lacon, do you, Oliver?’
He had also, thought Smiley, the American violence with auxiliary verbs: ‘Yes, I’m sorry about that,’ he said (p. 254).
Is Smiley presented here as a prescriptivist? Note the double entendre in the second part of the quotation. I’m reading all the Smiley novels in their proper order this year, so who knows what else I will find.