Talk impudent...


Senior Member
The following sentence is from "Gone With the Wind:"
...then it's not for any darky to talk impudent about him. The Troop knows what it's doing."

I have encountered many sentences in which "TALK" is followed by an adjective, like dirty, crazy, tough, embarrassing, etc.
I'd like to know how to describe the grammar of using an adjective after "TALK."
  • It’s non-standard. What’s meant is talk impudently, rudely. But in many casual and often regional modes of speech, some people do use the adjective instead.

    One of the most common examples is probably “play nice”, really meaning play nicely.
    It gets a little tricky because something like "talk tough", to me, describes what kinds of things are said - tough things. Harsh things. It doesn't describe the manner of speaking, which is what "talk toughly" would tend to imply. That's how you say the words, not what you say. In fact, I have never heard "talk toughly", but I have heard "talk tough" many times.

    So I would understand the OP to refer to saying impudent things.

    Which is not to say I disagree with lingo. It does sound non-standard. But it's not black and white to me as just being the "wrong" word.
    The story in the book (and movie) "Gone with the Wind" takes place in 1861, in the US state "Georgia". So the characters speak English as it was spoken in 1861 in Georgia. And that is non-standard in modern English. Even the dialect they speak today in Georgia (called "southern" in the US) is non-standard.