Monday, May 31, 2010

The Past Tense of Text or The Word of the Day

Among conversations I often hear different pronunciations of the past tense of the word "text".
Some people say "I tex'd you." While others will say "I texted you." with the word having 2 separate syllables; "text-ed".
In order to resolve this matter of grammar, (as I am a bit of a grammar fiend), I have spent some thought and google time studying it out.
Apparently, the word "text" is still not recognized by many as a verb. Most dictionaries still list it as a noun and it is only considered a verb when used as slang. Under which rule it would be most appropriate to say "I sent you a text."
So while we are waiting for the officials who define the English language to catch up with the people who actually use it, I have come up with the answer.
Most Americans text (v.) everyday, so it must have a past tense.
Most English verbs follow one of three rules:
1) Many English verbs become a different version of the word when used in past tense:
sit, sat
run, ran
lend, lent
drink, drank, etc.
2) Many verbs end in -ed which is simply combined with the last syllable:
walk, walked
pour, poured
look, looked, etc.
3) Many English verbs that ends with 2 consonants, the second of which is a hard D or T (when not following rule #1), add an -ed as an additional syllable:
lift, lifted
act, acted
halt, halted
mend, mended etc.
One can assume, that when the word "text" is finally accepted as a verb, and in the mean time while it is being used at length by the American public as a verb, that it will not follow the first example and become a different version of the word ("taxt? tixt? I don't think so).
"Text" should instead follow other verbs such as handed, landed, gifted and sifted such as referred to in the third rule and should be pronounced "texted" (text-ed) with 2 syllables.
Please realize that I am not a linguist (however cunning I may be), and I am certain there are further exceptions to the rules I mentioned. If you choose to disagree with me? Fine, just go disagree with me to someone else. You might even sound smart.