Submitted by maggiefisher on March 5, 2009

Texted

How is the past tense of text PRONOUNCED? “Texted” It is said as “text-ed” in a bank’s TV commercial and sounds so inappropriate to me. Why wouldn’t it be pronounced “texted”? Does anyone know the rule on this one? Why would one say “they just text-ed me back...” sounds like ill use of the verb to me!

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I work for a media organization that has recently been discussing this issue. Always difficult with new words where the written form has not yet been formalized.

Many people just say TEXT for both the present and past tense, as in SHALL I TEXT YOU? (present) and I TEXT YOU LAST NIGHT (past). TEXTED is also used, with the pronunciation TEKS-TUD. We agreed on the standard TEXTED, rather than TEXT.

I don't suppose there is a "correct" form. The verb TEXT is fairly new. I expect the commercial you saw was just going with the fairly common TEXT as both present and past.

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What is the difference in pronunciation between "text-ed" and "texted"?

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I'm a curmudgeon. I don't think "text" is a verb.

Rather than "They just texted me back," I'd say "They just sent me a text [message]." Yeah, it takes longer, but I think it sounds better.

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I agree with EGKG. "Text" should never be made into a verb. It's lazy enough to start using weird acronyms to spell whole sentences (LMAO). Let's not start removing words and changing the make up of others just because it's quicker to say.

Of course that means contractions should probably go too, if our forefathers have any say.

Oh nevermind. :)

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Our forefathers used contractions too! They were used with the telegraph. Latin inscriptions contain lots of contractions.

Yes, text is a verb. This is from another thread but I think it's relevant here:

The OED has "text" as a verb with these meanings:

1. To inscribe, write, or print in a text-hand or in capital or large letters. Also fig. Obs.

b. trans. To write in a text-hand upon. c. intr. To write in text-hand.

2. a. intr. To cite texts. b. trans. To cite a text at or against (a person). Obs.

for meaning 1a, they provide this citation:

1599 SHAKES. Much Ado V. i. 185 Yea and text vnder-neath, heere dwells Benedicke the married man.

There is an additional meaning:

trans. Telecomm. To send (a text message) to a person, mobile phone, etc.; to send a text message to. Also intr.: to communicate by sending text messages.

with these citations:

1998 Should I or shouldn't I? in alt.cellular.gsm (Usenet Newsgroup) 14 Mar., We still keep in touch..‘texting’ each other jokes, quotes, stories, questions, etc. 2000 Guardian 3 June (Weekend Suppl.) 26/1 One private school in Berkshire has just instituted a fine system for anyone caught texting in teaching-time. 2001 Publican Newspaper 4 June 5/6 Customers will be invited to text a message to a number given on the banner if they want to take part. 2001 Leicester Mercury (Electronic ed.) 31 July, I texted my mother and my friends when I got my results.

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If you prefer TOOKST, then get started spreading the word.

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Will wait and see on this one... TEXTED ME TEXTED TEXTED TEXTED.. Everyone is doing it! Text messages has surpassed cell calls in Asia 10-2008/Fact www.Texted.me

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This is a hard one because adding 'ed' to a word that ends in 't' or 'd' typically creates an additional syllable......part becomes part-ed, pro-ject becomes pro-ject-ed. Adding 'ed' to words ending in most other letters, simply adds the 'd' sound to the end of the word....play/played, push/pushed, stop/stopped. I think the 'x' in text is what makes it seem silly to say text-ed. Take the word 'tax' ,for instance, it changes to 'taxed' but is sounds like 'taxt' when you say it. Until today, I always said texted with one syllable, but after thinking about it, it probably really is text-ed with two syllables.

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Using "Texted" as a word is all over the media, as those train operators were doing during use on their "Crackberries". Highly addicting for most sane normal people.
Habituated mindset!!!!

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Anything sent related to texted me or future mobi sites...

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Please respond to this blog and tell us all how you feel when using
words like "Texted" or Slang Text versions, Text'd, Tx'd , Txd , others I have found
on search engines.
How about back-up servers for private sent "texted" messages something
like twitter but only you control it in any Country other than the good old USA!

If you know what I mean.

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Texted everything is changing from kindle to none use while driving and so on, to much!

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Thanks to all, appreciate the input, most of which I agree with. "texted" pronounced "tex ed" just doesnt sound right, why cant they just say "texted" with emphasis on the 'ed' part is what I'm now thinking. Anyhow it was great to get your responses and wade through to read other people's impressions.
Maggie in Michigan

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Both would be correct
Its like used as Tex ted or Texted, Same as Tes ted or Tested.

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Elsewhere on this blog there is a lively debate of whether irregular verbs should be "regularized" or not. There are fewer than 200 irregular English verbs, and the trend is towards fewer. For example, the word "mown," the (former) past participle of "mow," is rarely used, except as an adjective. Should we really be adding irregular verbs to the language? The past tense of "text" should be "texted."

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I guess the bank wanted to convey their message clearly, and so the difficult-to-pronounce xt'd cluster has been made into two syllables.

I wonder when the verb 'to text' will enter Standard English? 'To tweet' in reference to twitter has already made it into the Macquarie Dictionary...

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Saw a national AD with some guy in a cell phone plastic suit and he keep saying Sexted me as he ended his last words were "TEXTED ME" some PBS.org site! Does anyone know or have that link?

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I just sounds so WRONG --textED you sound like a 5 year old. I worked with a young girl (17, I'm 38) and she would say that and the word "like". "I like, text-ed you like 4 times last night, like why didn't you text me back?" It would drive me nuts, we worked in customer service, people just stopped going to her. She would also refer to her friend Rebecca as BeKKA....stressing the k sound. Grow up! Use the proper language dumbass! This is future of america?! Oh, and don't forget all the time she says....UMMM.

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I agree with you michele, Texted is now the main norm , not Text-ED , The future of the New America is here to stay... UMMM. See Ya!

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I found it here,per your request. One syllable always!

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I don't understand the debate. Is the question whether we should pronounce "texted" as two syllables? Has anyone tried pronouncing it as a single syllable? You can't pronounce a "d" sound directly after a "t" sound. I suppose you could pronounced it as "texd" making the second "t" silent, but that's just silly.

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An episode of 'Flight of the Conchords' juxtaposes two possible past tense forms of the verb 'text' in a dialog between a New yorker and one of the New Zealand band's members. The New Yorker says "he had known for two days before he text me" while the New Zealander says "he texted me" later in the conversation (though in his accent it sounded more like 'tikst?d'). To be honest, neither seemed right, but 'text' sounded more natural.

In a letter to a book dealer, Thomas Jefferson wrote: "In giving loose to Neologisms, indeed, uncouth words will sometimes be offered, but the public will judge them, and receive or reject, as sense or sound shall suggest..." He is right. If text survives as a verb – and I suspect it will – grammarians and style-book writers will have to bow to usage.

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You were looking at the wrong site.. Will research the correct one..
Why is this site so popular? How do I post photos.. Little lazy at the moment.. NO MORE TEXTING!!!

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The national AD campaign using Texted and Texual is found on the Parent/Youth/Teen site called Thats not cool . com, when I checked a few minutes ago Google had 18,565,000 HITS!!! WOW! Go figure?

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It just sounds too ghetto. Use " text " or " sent you a text ". Try to sound like someone who has indoor plumbing.

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Everything can be found on this new 2009 website,using all combos of words like "TEXTED" Many links can be viewed!

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Text or Texted, which is more correct?

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First of all, text can be used as a verb. Of course, with advances in technology, etymological changes follow. (try saying "I 'microwaved' my lunch"100 years ago)

text [t?kst]
verb
(Electronics & Computer Science / Telecommunications) to send a text message from a mobile phone

So, the obvious answer, if we agree that text is a verb, is that the past tense is 'texted' (pronounced tex-ted)


just like:

I called you last night (called - not call)

or:

anyone who thinks the past tense of text is text should be tested (tess-ted) to see if they can speak English properly.

other words that people who can't understand this can use as a reference are:

rested (past tense of rest)
bested (to defeat in a competition)
dusted (past tense of dust)
nested
listed
vested

So, everyone, please, use proper English.

Say:

"I just TEXTED you"

If you can't bring yourself to say that, then say:

"I just sent you a TEXT message"

And not:

"I just TEXT you"

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I agree with You Paul 94.7%..........
The other blog is more interesting!

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I don't personally think textéd (that is how you show the e is stressed) works particularly well. I prefer to follow taxed, which is quite similar, and comes out like tax'd. If we say texted as text'd then it sounds either like text or tex'd, but while these are not perfect, they are definitely less cumbersome than textéd.

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Let's look at using the English language correctly. Would you say, "I lettered you?" No, you would say, "I sent you a letter." So, therefore you should say, "I sent you a text message." And don't forget to add the word message.

Why would you say, "I sent you a text?" A text what? A text book? So if we used proper English, we would simply say, "I sent you a text message." It's not that difficult. We are just dumbing down our society by accepting the use of the fictitious word, texted.

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The verbification of nouns is not inherently incorrect, or even unusual. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage is emphatic on the issue:

"It occasionally comes as a surprise to the linguistically unsophisticated that nouns can be put to work as verbs. This, like the use of nouns as adjectives, is a practice with a long history."

Now, I'm not calling you unsophisticated. Objection to verbed nouns is not new, nor limited to the unlearned. Benjamin Franklin wrote to Noah Webster to decry the use of "notice" and "advocate," which up to then (1879) had both been nouns, as verbs. Time proved Franklin wrong on both counts, as both denominal verbs have survived.

You cite "letter" as an example of a noun not commonly used as a verb (at least outside of varsity sports). Fair enough. But what about "mail?" That noun, originating in Middle English, has only been used as a verb since the early 19th century (Merriam-Webster). Does anyone seriously object to it as a verb? More recently, "email" has quickly evolved from noun to verb after the same pattern. "Text" – noun and verb alike – follows suit.

It is unclear to me why this normal evolution of the language indicates a "dumbing down" of our society. To the contrary, it shows that English is alive and kicking.

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Correction:

Franklin wrote to Webster in 1789.

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Went to China and it sent me to Hong Kong for research.
Twitter on 1st Page uses "TEXTED" every nano second. Bing.com is getting better for true British English as I spent time in the States as well the UK.

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Definitely text, not texted. And for those of you who are language experts, answer this: Do you say cutted for past tense of cut? How 'bout put? With any luck, text will similarly evolve.

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Try these words.
Call
Fax
Scan
email
Blog
Skype
Talk

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well to the person that works for the media above.. not to smart.. it's text'd not texted!!! go back to school.. ooh yeah that's right school don't teach spelling anymore! well find the old school books and LEARN!

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Its Text, adding (ed) is pointless, texted sounds so childish.

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Texted is here to stay!! It is always better to Text(Cheaper)each other and save your CASH,Cell Phones produce tumors to your Brain and who needs that? Healthy, Wealthy and Wise in that order and Live like its your last Day! Also Research the 2012 Mayan Calendar...

http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=e...

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There are many irregular verbs which use the same word in the present, past, and past participle cases such as "let, set, cut, hurt, cost". I wish that "text" followed the same rule but unfortunately it seems that "texted" with the /ed/ pronouced as /id/ is gaining popularity among the masses.

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As a writer, I highbrow the word and find the multisyllabic form text-ed to be awkward. If we can't use text as a form of past tense, I would prefer to hear texted sounded out as text'd. People will chose it as they please, and I am sure that one day my literature will come across as 'old English' to some.

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Saying somethying like 'he texted me' just *sounds* ignorant. I reform the sentance and say "he sent me a text". It's also akward to say other words in plural or past tense if you pronounce the actual word like the plural for wasp - wasps, desk - desks, ghost - ghosts, its got that extra 't-ts' at the end making it sound wrong, when it is not. I really dont like 'text-ed', 'text'd' or any other form... I actually don't like texting!

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yes I have just read the whole of this blog and people that say 'texted' are just plain ignorant and need to go back to school and retake their English GCSE's or equivalent. i sent you a text message earlier IS THE CORRECT way to speak in ENGLISH not I texted you, my god that is so so awful. Please stop corrupting and insulting the Queens GOOD English language you slobs.
Thank you and good night xxxx

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Both text and texted are correct. I think there are far greater examples of the English language being butchered. Let texted be.

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Agree Andy. Let's have some examples to discuss. Texted has received too much airtime and I for one was just defending my own opinion. If it makes people happy to say texted because they haven't got time or tenacity to string together a proper sentence then so be it. Live and let live. It's a dog eat dog world.

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Texted.

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The word is TEXT not TEXTED. The same people that pronounce the word with two syllables are the people that end sentences in "at" (i.e., Where is the store at). They are also the same people that think they need to add "like" to every sentence (i.e., So I was like going to the store and I like got lost and didn't know where I was at so I texted my friend).

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Seriously Tim, the verb "to text" has been in existence little more than a decade; who are you to prescribe the correct form of the past tense? Especially when you're saying that adding the regular -ed ending to a newly-created verb is incorrect! Forming an irregular past tense from a new verb, which you're saying is the ONLY correct way, would be highly unusual. But who knows, "I text you last night" might win in the end.

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I really cannot see the problem. I think that the point of a language is to communicate in a way that people can understand what ever is being communicated. The right pronunciation will always help but as long as the recipient understands what you are saying does it really matter. There are many words that are pronounced differently but most the time understood as the same, for example: potato, tomato, text(Ed), migraine or even spelled differently for example: colour, text(ed). To answer your original question. I personally pronounce it as text (I text you last night) but if someone said I texted you last night I would understand

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Some may say the english language is being slaughtered by our youth and I agree to an extent, however, I find other examples of this much more disturbing. I.E. "ideal used in place of idea and ir-regardless." I believe with the evolution of society, use of certain words, new or otherwise, should and will inevitably evolve accordingly.

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I text my mother the other day.
I will text my mother when i have time.
I'm not sure but i think my mother may have text me the other day.
Not sure why people would even add the ed at the end.
Tried writing texted on many phones using predictive text and yet to find a phone that has texted pre installed in dictionary.
Would have thought for all the people that want to text, have text, and are going to text, or to be text from others they would have added the correct word.........hold on!!!they did....its Text. Past,present,future.

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I don't always agree with wordbooks, but this time I do. From Merriam-Webster:


Examples of TEXT

1. I texted her a little while ago.
2. I texted a message to her.
3. She just texted me back.

The OED does not show any irregular ending ...

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Having only one tongue, I can't say "texted" in one syllable.

@Stee, You text your mother the other day? Cool. I phone my mother last week. Does that *really* sound correct to you? Rats...now I need to explain my use of asterisks.

@CharlotteGarner, people who think this is currently taught in schools are the type of people who don't capitalize their sentences. Back when I was in school, I "learnED" to add "-ed" to show past-tense. Perhaps that makes me learned? Golly, how shall we pronounce the last word in that last sentence?

"Text message"? What other types of texts are sent? Text pictures? A bit redundant.

I almost think I get it. "Text" sounds, to the uneducated ear, like "texed". But only to people who don't know what a text is. And, yes, I understand that "a text" is a new concept for some. "I texed my mother last week" might sound ok but is clearly incorrect. "I text Mom last week" would sound better as "Me text Ogg last week", assuming, of course, that my mom's name is Ogg, which it isn't, and that we're cave people, which we aren't. Still, the concept holds.

"I texted" -- two syllables -- seems clearly correct; it only sounds incorrect to uneducated people who don't know what "a text" is. Learn at your own pace; I really don't see any hurry.

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"I texted" -- two syllables -- seems clearly correct; it only sounds incorrect to uneducated people who don't know what "a text" is. Learn at your own pace; I really don't see any hurry.

No matter how much of a smart arse you think you are, no matter if its an uneducated person or someone as mighty as you. Every time you say it as "texted" (2 syllables) you sound like an idiot!!!


@Stee, You text your mother the other day? Cool. I phone my mother last week.......and what the hell is this. shit example even writtten correct- phoned... you still wouldnt make yourself sound like an idiot by sayin phone-ed so not having it!!!!! hahahahahahaah
Text a reply if you like
Ill text later if i can
i hope what u have text next time isnt too nasty.
hahahahahahahaha

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Stee: Every time you say it as "texted" (2 syllables) you sound like an idiot!!!

Says who?

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@Tom in Tx, ""Text message"? What other types of texts are sent? Text pictures? A bit redundant."

In this case, text is an adjective. Otherwise, if I say that I sent you a message you don't know what kind of message ... a verbal message via a friend, an email, a courier!

If I say that I sent you a text, then it could mean a written work. Now in context you would likely know but not always.

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Personally, I have to weigh in with the text-ed (two syllables) set. I can't imagine why anyone would suggest otherwise. That being said, let me make a suggestion. I don't see anything wrong with someone pronouncing it "texed" (one syllable). It's not uncommon to hear someone pronounce the possessive "the Jones' "as "the Jones" (one syllable) rather than "the Jones-ES" (two syllables), especially if followed by further sibilance. I would suggest that it's no different than saying "wudja do?" when you mean "what did you do?" Clearly, there's nothing wrong with "wudja". It's said all the time by pretty much every English speaker. Even so, absolutely no one would ever claim that "what did you" is wrong and that "wudja" is the "correct" way to say it.

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Text is a verb and its past participle is texted.
The only problem is the way it is being used by the text speak brigade.

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@porsche
"I would suggest that it's no different than saying"
Tut tut!
"Different from".

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I know this is possibly beating a totally dead horse, and if anyone's paying attention then great! but with "text" being synonymous with "text message" and "texting" being synonymous with "text messaging" as in, the act of sending a text message, I propose that the past tense is indeed texted. Because you don't "text message" someone yesterday, you "text messaged". "texted" is simply a contraction of "text messaged."

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Ok, since irregular verbs ending in "t" do not change, the past tense of the word "text" should be "text" and not "texted" - I would imagine that both forms are acceptable though - think of "broadcast/broadcasted" - both appear to be used.

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[From Tom in TX, above...now I'm told someone else is using that name.]

"Yesterday, I cast my net into the sea". I certainly didn't "casted" it.
I'm starting to see the light.
What's the name of this website again?

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Yesterday I wanted something to so painted the house. Then I started to cut the grass but became interested in the flowerbed. I shouted to my girlfriend to come quickly. I pointed to the flower and waited to see her reaction but she treated me with contempt even after I insisted. The she fainted. But then she acted as if nothing had happened.

Look at all those verbs that end in 't' ... and get an 'ed' past tense.

M-W lists the past tense as texted.

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AnWulf... you're an idiot... painted, started, interested, ect are not IRREGULAR VERBS. Go back to middle school... just because they end in "t" doesn't make them irregular

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@theone ... LMAO ... AT YOU! That was exactly my point but since you seem to lack middle school reading comprehension skills, I'll put it in wording that you might understand ...

DUH ... dudes ... like all words that end in 't' are not ... like different ... like the dude above me said ... you know ... I mean ... they like have -ed at the end ... uh ... like normal ones.

Maybe now you can understand what I wrote.

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I actually think that the problem is that some people think the words are 'tex', 'texing' and 'texed'. This is how certain friends of mine seem to be saying it, anyway. So they say 'I texed you this morning' when I would say 'I texted (text-ed) you this morning'. Strange as it may seem, but some people have got so sloppy with English grammar! I blame the schools......
Of course texted is pronounced text-ed. The same as shouted is pronounced shout-ed. Let's get English grammar taught properly again - even 'new' words like these should be written and pronounced correctly!!

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I've been frustrated with this myself and I believe that saying "text-ed" is ignorant an basically removing the verb from a sentence. Texted is incorrect and SHOULD be text'd as in "text messaged" messaged being the verb. Text is nothing more than WORDS compiled to form sentences and paragraphs. You can't text someone because the action taken to place the text into format is the action or verb, ie writing or typing.

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Regardless of how it is said, "texted" is the past tense. However, I wouldn't be upset if folks changed the verb to "tex" (think of fax) and thus the past tense would indeed be "texed". After all, I don't think that I say the final 't' when I say it as a verb. For that matter, I don't folks often say it when it is the noun "text".

@Ryan ... too late. Text as a verb has been here since the 1590s (in a slightly nother sense):
text (v.)
"to send a text message by mobile system," 2005; see text (n.). Related: Texted; texting. It formerly was a verb meaning "to write in text letters" (1590s).

"Oh, nephew, are you come ! the wel- comest wish That my heart has ; this is my kinsman, sweet. Wife. Let him be largely texted in your love. That all the city may read it fairly ..." — William Rowley, "Woman Never Vext", 1632

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Living languages are dynamic and English is no exception. Using "text" and its variants as a verb is relatively new, and just another example of how language adapts to change. Latin does not change because it is a dead language while living languages do. Therefore, "John texted Mary," stands as it correctly uses the transitive verb "texted".

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I do agree that linguistic advancement must go alongside technological advancement. Let languish experts get to work now and include 'text' as a verb and the use of ‘texted’ (two syllables) as the past tense to close this whole argument. The x followed by t in the word ‘text’ is similar to the s followed by t in the word ‘test’ which past tense is formed with a two syllables word ‘tested’.

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To those of you who think otherwise, proper language usage is still taught in school. The word "text" is a base word, a verb, and is used in future tense. Ex: She will TEXT me later. As we all should have learned in our English class, when you have present tense of a verb you add "-ing" Ex: I am TEXT-ing her now. When you have past tense of a verb you add "-ed" Ex: She TEXT-ed (pronounced tex- ted) me last night. One would not say she test very well on her final exam. Why? Because that is incorrect. One WOULD say she test-ED (pronounced tes- ted) very well on her final exam. Two syllable words are not new to the English language, but new words are added more often than not and if they are unable to follow the basic rules of grammar, why are they added?

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What's kind of funny to me is that everyone uses an example to show they're right but ignore other examples that equally say they're wrong.
Someone used Learned when making the case for two syllables when clearly no one says learn-ed but learned

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Wouldn't the easiest thing be to look in a dictionary?

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