I am an American and I am reading a book titled Bloodmage by a British author named Stephen Aryan.
He uses expressions I was previously unfamiliar with, such as "sat" instead of "sitting" (i.e., "sat at the table were three men") and "stood" instead of "standing." I originally thought these were grammatically incorrect, but have since learned that they are a "standard" part of a northern English dialect.

Now I have come across a sentence in the book that begins with "A few street away..." This again seemed liked an obvious typo, but I checked online and found several edited British news articles that use the same expression (among the news sources were "Bristol Post" and "Sunday Express").
Is this also another "standard" or informal idiom of a dialect from northern England? If so, why is it used in place of "a few streets away"?

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    I'm British and am quite familiar with a few streets away but have never heard it rendered as singular. Using past participle sat, instead of present sitting, is widespread among northerners in Britain - both east and west of the Pennines. Though I don't think it would have enough merit to be included as part of a Northern British Standard. Paradoxically they will often use the present cooking where they need the past cooked. So in Manchester or Leeds, it would be perfectly normal to hear, There I was sat at the table, when the waitress asked me how I wanted my steak cooking. – WS2 Apr 17 '16 at 19:21
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    These forms are not as common in the south of England, and the West Country (Bristol). But people move around, and their appearance in newspapers is as much a reflection of who wrote the report, as anything. But you would be unlikely to find them in more serious newspapers such as The Times, The Telegraph or The Guardian. – WS2 Apr 17 '16 at 19:34
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    I do not hesitate to say that a few street away is a typo. – Colin Fine Apr 17 '16 at 21:57
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    @WS2 Agree totally (!!!) I'd never thought of the grammaticality or otherwise of 'How do you want it cooking?' / 'He will want it painting' / 'Do you want it saving?' etc. I'd say the construction is quite acceptable hereabouts (the NW). – Edwin Ashworth Jul 17 '16 at 10:39
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is predicated on a typo. – Edwin Ashworth Jul 28 '16 at 18:16

I'm from the North East of England, so a Geordie, not a Brummie, that's the West Midlands of England.

The first is a typo, it should be a few streets away. Not an attempt to write in dialect.


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    Hello, Stephen. I'd agree, but unsubstantiated answers are not what is required on ELU – they so easily generate into 'Well, that's what I think, anyway'. This is a 'comment' (for which you need a bit more 'rep'). – Edwin Ashworth Jul 17 '16 at 10:26
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    @Edwin This answer appears to be from the author of the book. – user57709 Jul 26 '16 at 15:06

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