in the a.m.

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
— What time you got ?
— 7:22 in the a.m.

Pulp Fiction, movie

Does this sound natural, or is it a kind of joke?
Thanks.
 
  • Jimbob_Disco

    Senior Member
    British English
    It sounds very 'slang', but not very natural, no. That said, the whole thing's been dialectally transcribed. In proper English, it would look like this:
    - What time is it?
    -7:22 in the morning
    or
    -7:22 am (literally said as /ayem/).
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I've just watched the clip (I really should watch Pulp Fiction again - I haven't seen it since it was first released). It isn't a joke, it is just Vincent's way of speaking, so for him it is natural. But this isn't how most people speak. Very few people in Pulp Fiction speak how most people speak; it is one of the things that makes the film so engaging.

    I imagine it started as an affectation, to make him sound distinctive, but from the look of it it seems it has turned into just the way he speaks.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It sounds jocular to me, but I never quite know where I am with AE.

    Edit: What Uncle Jack says seems reasonable. I haven't seen the film for ages.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    — What time you got ?
    — 7:22 in the a.m.
    In AE, this sounds a little bit unusual, but not very much. It would not be noticed as "different" in AE. It is no more odd than saying "What time you got?" instead of the more common phrase "What time is it?"
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    In AE, this sounds a little bit unusual, but not very much. It would not be noticed as "different" in AE. It is no more odd than saying "What time you got?" instead of the more common phrase "What time is it?"
    Exactly = “not uncommon” :)

    I have heard it mainly on the radio either to announce the time (did Robin Wiliams in “Good morning Vietnam” use it?) or to be part of the name of a programme. (a google search for {in the a.m. -made} brings up many such programmes)
     
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