I’m a native English speaker. On a site where I help Russians with English, one of them wrote the sentence:
My watch has been working good since I fixed it.
Naturally, I pointed out that the correct way to express this is with well or fine, however he insisted to the contrary, instructing me as follows, and I quote:
no, actually good has become an adverb long time ago, check some new
dictionaries. Plus I was just told by a native speaker in the
TeamSpeak that both variants (working good and working well) are
valid, theres no mistake or how u put it “isnt grammatical” in using
good. Its just a matter of choice or habit. Plus ofc the “feeling
good”, “I feel good I knew that I would” very old song n lots of
things like that exist no matter what!
In all fairness, I wanted to consult other natives to hear their opinion on this. I’m very reluctant to believe that this is now considered correct (much less that it became an adverb “a long time ago.”) I know that some natives speak this way, but that doesn’t make it correct or acceptable in my book. What do you think?
I would tell your students it’s a “trap word,” that is, something they might hear when conversing with native speakers but something that others might find jarring or unacceptable. (English has a handful of these – another that I can think of is “The data is…” vs. “The data are…”)
As for Mr. Check New Dictionaries, I cringe when someone is dishing out grammar advice while using “u” for you and “n” for and. That undermines his credibility. Moreover, as for his assertion that it’s “valid,” he’s partly right, and partly wrong.
When I consulted the WordNet 3.0 dictionary, for example, it said:
(often used as a combining form) in a good or proper or satisfactory manner or to a high standard (‘good’ is a nonstandard dialectal variant for ‘well’);
– Example: “the children behaved well”
– Example: “a task well done”
– Example: “the party went well”
– Example: “he slept well”
– Example: “a well-argued thesis”
– Example: “a well-seasoned dish”
– Example: “a well-planned party”
– Example: “the baby can walk pretty good”
So the crux of the matter would be this: is ‘valid’ an accurate synonym for ‘nonstandard dialectal variant’? I don’t think so. Like that fellow said, it’s a matter of choice and habit – but a lot of habits are bad habits.