It seems like Americans are slowly losing the ability to distinguish between simple opposites like ‘bring’ and ‘take’. My (mostly American) girlfriend constantly tells to do things like ‘Bring the trash outside,’ only it’s a logical impossibility because she isn’t outside waiting for me to bring the rubbish to her, but rather inside waiting for me to take it outside. It’s not just my girlfriend, of course – it’s a mistake you hear often on American TV programmes. Even the arrogantly prodigious intellect of The Big Bang Theory‘s Sheldon Cooper has transgressed (because he’s not real and his words are written by less mentally endowed writers).
Dictionary.com (an American website) defines ‘bring’ as:
1. to carry, convey, conduct, or cause (someone or something) to come with, to, or toward the speaker: Bring the suitcase to my house. He brought his brother to my office.
Is that really so hard to grasp? Grammar Girl (also American) elaborates:
when your point is that an object or person is moving from one location to another, the rule is that things are brought to the speaker and taken away from the speaker. You ask people to bring things to you, and you take things to other people. You ask people to bring you coffee, and you offer to take the dishes to the kitchen. You tell people to bring you good news, and you take your camera to the beach. Remember Simone’s trick: you bring things here and take things there, and take and there both start with the letter t.
The inability to follow such elementary rules really brings me down.