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.


Lydia said...

Imiss your posts. Enjoyed this one even though I dont text

Chuck and Nancy said...

Many people around here text. Even those who don't have running water or electricity have cell phones with cameras and they text. However, Our missionary phones have the texting capability disabled. I don't know how anyway. Mom

Della Hill said...

One of the boys we worked with in Richmond was a sudanese refugee. His mother still lived in a refugee camp in Kenya. She had no power or running water, but she had a cell phone. I don't even know how she charged it.
I also don't know if she texted.

Carrie and Karl said...

I don't text, but that's mostly because my phone doesn't have unlimited texting, and it costs way too much to do.
I enjoyed this post though.

Victoria said...

I am a big texting fan, and I agree 100%. Text, texting, texted. I am, therefore I text.

Lillian Wilkinson said...

I have also missed your posts, so thanks. You also think differently than I do, but as my sister you know that. I dont text often though I do text and when picking out my phone, I picked one with a full keyboard because I thought it would be easier. ( I love my phone). I do text. I have texted. and I will continue to be a texter.

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Karen said...

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Linda said...

Hi Della - good to hear you are in the neighborhood. I sure enjoy reading all about your mom and dad's mission. We have a couple from our ward serving in Arizona, I think in another Navajo area. Their letters and your folks blog sometimes are so similar I have to sort out who I am reading. Pretty fun.
One of these days in my spare time (laugh here) I will have to read all about you and yours and catch up. I see some of your siblings also. Hi to all of you and I look forward to 'seeing' you. LL

Ange said...

Well thanks for clearing that up for us! :)

joven said...

beautiful blog..pls visit mine and be a follower.. thanks and God bless..

Victoria said...

I adore texting... in every form. :)