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I want to write down a sentence to express the fact that from the 1980's on computers got applied in many facets of our daily lives ... and I am wondering what sentence would be correct:

"As computing got more and more ubiquitous in people's daily lives, ..."


"As computing became more and more ubiquitous in people's daily lives, ..."


Thank you for all the comments! I have rebuilt the sentence as shown below:

"As computing started to become ubiquitous, affecting more and more aspects of people's daily lives, the demand for reliable programs that are proven to be correct increased"

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both work in speech, but 'got' sounds more informal. –  Mitch Dec 27 '12 at 15:43
@RegDwighт thank you .. I thought that maybe some usages of get/become depend on the word they are paired with. Thx also for pushing the post you mentioned above .. –  marc wellman Dec 27 '12 at 15:57
@StoneyB .. is it correct now ? –  marc wellman Dec 27 '12 at 16:18
@StoneyB Thank you - you helped me a lot! :) –  marc wellman Dec 27 '12 at 16:35

5 Answers 5

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Got is acceptable in informal discourse, but became is to be preferred in formal discourse.

This is not entirely a matter of register, however. Get always has a certain overtone of acquire, and suggesting that ubiquity is a quality acquired by computers is a little wonky. You'd be more likely to say that computers got faster or got more powerful than got more ubiquitous.

A side issue is whether ubiquitous is in fact scalable; I don't particularly object to more ubiquitous, since it’s understood as what I would phrase as more nearly ubiquitous, but some have a legitimate argument against it. You might avoid the quarrel by writing “As computing came to play a greater and greater role in people’s daily lives ...”

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thank you for this detailed comment .. after re-thinking the sentence I want to write again I followed your suggestion regarding the scalability of "ubiquitous". I've added my conclusion the my original post. Thank you! –  marc wellman Dec 27 '12 at 16:01

"As computing became more and more ubiquitous..." is preferable, but ubiquity is better understood as an absolute condition: something is either ubiquitous or it isn't.
How about: "As the use of computers became increasingly common in daily life..."

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Thanks for your comment and you suggestion! –  marc wellman Dec 27 '12 at 16:02

Get is one of those verbs that has many forms and could work in a context like yours the same way become does. It seems to be marked informal in formal discourse. So if it's a written and more formal document, become will be a better choice and will keep you on the safe side.

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thank you for your comment .. it's indeed in a formal context - it's my master thesis :) and as you an the others suggested I will use "become" ... thx again! –  marc wellman Dec 27 '12 at 15:59

Don’t use ubiquitous in a way that is qualified by degree, since it means “everywhere”. It’s like being more and more unique, or more and more pregnant.

Instead, just say something like:

As computing became more and more commonplace in people’s daily lives,

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You could rewrite the sentence -

As computing became ubiquitous, it pervaded every part of people’s daily lives. The demand for...

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