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I first came across the word in Mary McCarthy's The Group (novel, 1963; film, 1966). One of her characters frequently says, "Who'd a thunk it?"


The short answer is that both are correct. "The task was scheduled" is a perfectly grammatical sentence in English. With this sort of construction, there are a couple different ways to analyze it. My opinion is that this is simply the passive voice ("We scheduled the task" would be an active-voice version of this sentence). Passive-voice usage is used often ...


Because the phrase is not in standard English, it is in any of several dialects in which ain't broke is grammatical. It is true that the phrase is often used by people who do not otherwise use such dialects: in that sense, its almost a foreign phrase, like je ne sais quoi.


If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The saying uses "broke" because it's deliberately going for a folksy, non-grammatical feel of homespun wisdom. The implication is that simple people (those least likely to adhere to strict grammar rules) have an innate common sense that the more refined among us do not share. Such people tend use "ain't" for "isn't" and ...

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