Posted by Neal on April 20, 2009
There’s been a fair bit of discussion on the American Dialect Society mailing list about the past tense of text. I was surprised there was even a question about it: Assuming you are OK with text as a verb in the first place, wouldn’t the past tense naturally be texted? Ben Zimmer’s Word Routes column on texted shows that it’s not that simple, and that some people who don’t complain about clearly verbal uses such as texting have a problem with texted.
Even knowing a foreign language fluently isn’t always enough to understand what its speakers are saying to you. For some good illustrations involving Mandarin Chinese, read this post from Syz on Beijing Sounds, and follow the other Beijing Sounds posts he links to.
If you’ve been reading this blog since before it spun off from Agoraphilia, you might remember a post I wrote on the metaphor of carrots and sticks. For a fresher, and more researched look at this topic, check out Jan Freeman’s column from March 8.
And lastly for this installment, I recommend Beatrice Santorini’s collection of linguistics humor.