Daily Archives: December 1, 2008

Irregularity

Sitting in Costa Coffee my mind wanders, as it does, onto irregular verbs.

I’m no linguist so the precise terminology escapes me, but irregular verbs seem to generally follow one of three patterns: A/A/A (bet/bet/bet, for example), A/B/B (build/built/built) or A/B/C (smite/smote/smitten).

There are a few A/B/A, such as come/came/come. But can you think of any A/A/B?

I can think of one, and it’s a new one that doesn’t make any lists yet. Officially I’m sure it’s not considered irregular, but if you listen to people speaking they use it irregularly all the time.

I contend that text/text/texted is this new irregular verb. The number of times you hear a sentence like “I text Darren last night and he said…” is proof to me that people are using it irregularly in the simple past form. I’ve never heard it used that way as a participle, it’s “I’d texted him” not “I’d text him”.

Am I right?

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