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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Past tense of “text”

Now that text messaging has become a normal method of communication, “text” appears to have become a verb, as in “Text your vote in now”. Once that vote has been sent, what is the past tense? I don’t think that I can bring myself to use “texted”, but always saying “sent a text message” seems to be a contrived way to avoid “texted”.

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@another try ... most verbs that end in "t" take an "ed" past tense ... painted, boasted, roasted, asf.

M-W has texted as the past tense:

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

AnWulf Jan-24-2012

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I just made a post on this, but as I wrote to somebody that I made a post, I thought...posted. Hey, that's pretty similar.

If you're going to write a scholarly article, I suggest you just use a workaround phrase and use far too many words, as most scholarly articles often do.

photog Jan-22-2012

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This is a long topic or case or whatever it's called.

I subscribe to "texted" as the proper past tense as the verb for of "text" meaning, to send a text message.

FYI, I will say a word in caps that I am separating from the rest of the sentence instead of using quotation marks.

The word TEST for example, sounds similar, though the X adds an extra KS sound. Say TESTED. I am taking a test. I am testing. I am being tested. They will be tested tomorrow. They will have been tested tomorrow. They have been tested. And now, I am sending a text. I am texting. I am being texted. They will be texted tomorrow. They wil have been texted tomorrow.

If you say that through a couple times, you will catch on how to say it. Don't say it slow and sloppy like you're unsure if that's correct. Say it confident and just imagine you're saying TEST.

As for the past tense of TEXT being TEXT, I disagree. I understand words like HIT, but this isn't quite the same. I'm not sure of any technical reason why, but it's similar to MEDAL in the Olympics, etc. It's a noun turned into a verb. It's like PLANK. If you haven't heard what planking is, I think it's just laying somewhere random like a plank of wood. So, planked, planking, etc. I also just saw something similar in a previous post, EMAIL. EMAILED. TEXTED just sounds different and to some people it sounds wrong because the only thing they can bring to mind is HITTED, which of course, should be HIT. I think the techno jargon is a large part of it. Technology terminology fits into the lexicon pretty quickly, and it's obviously been irritating to those who don't really consider all possibilities.

If I say I TEXT YOU and mean to tell them that it is something that I did in the past, there is no other context to indicate that it has already happened and has ended. Saying I TEXT YOU just implies that it is an ongoing action with no discernible ending or maybe even beginning.

photog Jan-22-2012

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Also: quit:quit, slit:slit, set:set, put:put. Perhaps a rule might be that if it ends in "t" then the plural is the same as the singular.

AnotherTry Jun-10-2011

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Text will probably go regular in the past tense i.e. "texted" but the past tense could also easily be "text." as in the past tense of other verbs ending in "t": burst:burst, cut:cut, cost:cost, cast:cast, bet:bet. The tendency seems to be to make words regular - note the use of "mouses", not "mice" for more than one computer mouse.

AnotherTry Jun-10-2011

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Yes, my poor attempt at one at least.

Chris B May-30-2011

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chrisbolton20, "whole nother" is a little joke, right?

Erica1 May-30-2011

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I don't mind the FYI world of electronic communication, but when people say "eff why eye" in conversation and want to touch base with me, that's a whole nother matter.

tasman May-06-2011

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My best friend and I have this debate daily, as she is a text messaging machine. I do not text, so I do not use the word "texted" in any conversation, not even when I ask if she sent a message to someone. However, when I hear someone say 'texted" I want to immediately tell them that isn't a word and if it is a word it shouldn't be because it sounds terrible. Why can't it just be text? I will text you tomorrow. I sent you a text. We were text messaging all day etc...I always thought of "text" as written words. Just saying it sounds a little wrong to add the "ed" to the end of text. That's my .02 on this subject. I will note that I will not text, be text"ed" (ha)... well, I may write an old fashion letter, but not on my phone. I don't even think I use the word "emailed". But I'm also one of those that cannot get into the whole OMG, TMI, FYI, world of language.

Dawn1 May-05-2011

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Language is a living thing and the vernacular is defined by those that speak it. The youth of our world have embraced text messaging and made it their own and they say "texted" pronouncing all of it "text - ed". So with all due respect to Webster and dissertations everywhere - Those that hold the real power on this, have spoken! Remember, too, every grammar rule has its exceptions. Weird isn't it?

Mrs.D. Apr-27-2011

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I have always though it should be "text" not "texted" it sounds awful. To read and have read...text and text...or tex'd

Robert2 Apr-24-2011

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Though I cannot think of one right now, I believe there is a verb (or some verbs) that use the same word for present and past tense forms. If that is correct, then we could say "yesterday I text you". Can anyone think of the verb(s) that is (are) treated this way?

lois1 Apr-20-2011

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So what is the correct way to say it, spell it, use it, whatever?

strokerspark Apr-01-2011

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I just can't handle the two guys in the commercial, and the one guy say you just texsed me? CRINGE!!!!

strokerspark Apr-01-2011

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Crashdummy: Thanks for the explanation. That makes sense now. However I'd say (for me) that emphasizing the "d" is something I'd have to do consciously. That's because "tex" (which, phonetically, is "teks") ends in an unvoiced sound, which naturally makes me pronounce the "d" as "t", just like I would in "vexed" or "faxed".

Chris B Mar-29-2011

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Chris, you are right. Text DOES end in "t" and your examples are good.

MY pronounciation of texted is to give it a one syllable sound by emphasizing the "d" at the end - making it tex/d/. The "x" sound is a strong one and, I was comparing it to similar words which contain it: vex, fax, max, hex, flex, ... Those are words which keep the one syllable sound.

crashdummy Mar-28-2011

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Crashdummy: You describe your pronunciation of the past tense as "text'd" but say it only has one syllable. What do you mean by this exactly? How does this differ from just "text"?

"I can't think of other similar words which would change from a one syllable sound for the present to a two syllable sound for the past."

There are heaps of verbs that do this: rest-ed, wait-ed, post-ed, hand-ed, end-ed, ...
In fact I'd go as far as to say that any one-syllable verb ending in "d" or "t" becomes a two-syllable word in the past tense, as long as it's a regular past tense with the -ed ending.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

Chris B Mar-28-2011

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There shouldn't be a question of whether or not it's text or texted for past tense. It clearly needs to be written as texted. The only question, to me, is how it's pronounced. I say text for present tense; text'd for past. I can't think of other similar words which would change from a one syllable sound for the present to a two syllable sound for the past. Should texted become an awkward two syllable word or remain a word syllable word as text'd?

crashdummy Mar-26-2011

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QUESTION: I’m sure you’ve been asked this before, but I need to know. What is the past tense of “to text”? And if it has not been officially decided, who decides when new words are part of the dictionary? This certainly needs to be addressed. Thanks. Sincerely, Al Gore/Inventor jk...

RESPONSE: The verb “text” is conjugated according to the normal English pattern, so the past tense would be “I texted.” Here at Merriam-Webster, we have a series of criteria that a word has to meet to be considered for entry in our dictionary. We spend a certain amount of time every day scouring all sorts of published material for examples of new words, and when we find them, they go into our citation database. When we revise our dictionary, we check the database to see if any of these new words have enough support to warrant their entry. For more information on the process and criteria we use to enter words in the dictionary, please visit our Web site at Daniel Brandon,Associate Editor, Merriam-Webster Inc.

ceo Nov-14-2010

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i always just say "hey, i text you yesterday"

Jon2 Nov-11-2010

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This is all very simple: most verbs ending in d or t (hard sound) pronounce the ted at the end. Rest is rested. Nest is nested. Head is headed. Need is needed. Text is texted. Story ended.

Dave3 Sep-21-2010

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This is all very simple: most verbs ending in d or t (hard sound) pronounce the ted at the end. Rest is rested. Nest is nested. Head is headed. Need is needed. Story ended.

Dave3 Sep-21-2010

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Interesting reading. We've been texting seriously for ten years and we still haven't figured it out.
"Texted" makes the most sense to me (and that's what I say). Someone mentioned verbs ending in triple consonant sounds; the nearest ones (other than "text") I can think of are "jinx" and "inch", and it seems we can all handle "jinxed" and "inched".
If we're going to say "text" as the past tense then logically we must also write "text". But wait! We all write "fifth" and "sixth" (some more examples of tricky consonant combinations) but they often come out like "fith" and "sickth". So we don't always say what we write.

tasman Jul-01-2010

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I'm going to say TEX-tid simply because saying "text" sounds like I haven't actually finished the verb yet and I'm ending the word early. "I text you." sounds like I'm talking like a neanderthal in the present tense. "Ugh ugh, me text you!" Texted isn't that difficult to say, and it's clearer than the homonym style.

John4 Jun-11-2010

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Make that "offer" and "past". Don't know what happened there.

Phil1 May-27-2010

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I'll just off that the pst tense of cut is cut, put is put, and I do hope text evolves the same way.

Phil1 May-27-2010

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"Texed"? Wouldn't that be the past tense of just "tex"? Such as, "texing" someone? It doesn't even have a definition O_o. Just sayin'. I hope we figure this out eventually!

laceytanai Mar-05-2010

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I never said I was correct - I just said what I used. Sheesh!

Lori1 Feb-22-2010

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Well, You are wrong

bubbha Feb-22-2010

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I say text the same whether I in the past or present tense, but would write it as texted in the past tense!

Lori1 Feb-18-2010

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Simply, in the english language if the word ends in a "t" then in the preterit of that word the "ed" must be pronounced, just as in the word "tested".

bubbha Feb-15-2010

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??? Love reading these, Wish I had more time to post my 3 pence worth!!!

ceo Jan-29-2010

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Hi Jason

You are "correct" of course :) I agree and usually say the same to people ... I think (or at least I usually) put *'s or "s around words like correct and incorrect; usually at first and then I get lazy and/or forget/assume they remember my "looser" meaning of the word correct - This was influenced by 30 years as a programmer both in terms of having to conform to a much stricter syntax "correctness" / a background in formal logic where words like "valid" and "true" get "incorrectly" interchanged and also a Buddhist background where we talk of "correctness" in a Daoist sense :)

I think to wind-up though it depends on exactly which question people ask; examples

Can we use the noun "Text" as a verb - definitely yes

In using this verb in the past tense would it be correct to spell it as "text" - definitely depends on context - in a question where "did" renders it "tenseless" it is correct

In using this verb in the past tense would it be correct to spell it as "texted" - definitely yes - for the reasons you gave and the OED definition

If the person starts a debate by saying "if you spell / pronounce the word text in the past tense as texted you are wrong" then they are definitely "wrong"; which is what my friend said to me :)

Strangely enough though my personal "journey" was this. I used to say "texed" and thought that people who said "texted" were like the people who say (or pronounce) "drowneded" - probably because I heard it mostly on the UK equivalent of "The Jerry Springer Show" - it just sounded wrong. I don't know when or why but a few years ago I made the change and now "Texed" sounds completely "wrong" and "texted" seems logical - I have no idea why I never used to use it or why "Texed" ever sounded "right" - just the power of the wiring of the brain I guess

Anyway ... It's been really insightful ... thank you so much

I'll be sending my friend to this site :)

m.mouse Jan-28-2010

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You are right that "text" gets used in past-tense sentences, as your question examples illustrate. However, what people were arguing about before was whether "text" could be the past-tense form in simple declarative sentences: "I texted you last night" vs. "I text (texed) you last night". Frankly, it surprised me that anyone would have thought to use the latter form, because of the following:

The reason I asked for other examples was because irregular word forms (such as build-built) are irregular because they are very old words that have survived through centuries of sound changes. Words that enter the language through borrowing or "verbizing", however, always conform to the language's inflectional system -- what are referred to as its "productive" morphemes. In English, "-ed" as a past tense suffix is productive, and no other past tense form is, to my knowledge. So "built" does not conform to the pattern, but it is a very old word, so we need not consider it. If a new word, such as "text" as a verb, enters English and takes on a past tense suffix other than "-ed", that would be truly remarkable. If you ever find such a word, post it here! But as I said before, I would be amazed if you ever do.

By the way, be careful about using the word "correct" in linguistic discussions. Many people contend (and I agree with them) that there is no sensible definition of correctness in language, only statements about how a language is used. So in the above, I have not described "text" (past tense) as wrong, but simply counter to the way that we know English to work in all other cases.

jls.junkmail Jan-28-2010

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Have you seen the movie Avatar ... there's a link on IMDB in trivia for that movie about how they invented 1,000 words that were easy to pronounce and weren't like any words in any other language (near on impossible I would have thought!) Some of it did sound like Native American/Indian dialects to me. But it kind of reminded me of Tolkein inventing his languages in The Lord of the Rings, etc.

I was also talking to a friend the other day from the UK who learnt Japanese while he lived there ... for any plurals / multiples instead of adding -S, -ES, etc. as we sometimes do they just say the word twice - which I found quite quaint/unusual/funny


m.mouse Jan-28-2010

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Hi again Jason

Two things have just struck me which I just had to share :) (well three if we include why I've stayed on this page so long!)

I think my points are still valid as text can be used in "a past sense sentence" even though the actual word text in a past tense sentence is "sense-less" and that this is part of the reason some people have split into two camps - whilst the use of "Texted" is undoubtedly the correct use as per your very useful explanation backed by the OED definition - i.e. they're talking at cross purposes if discussing the simple form of the question should a word be text or texted in a past tense sentence - it can but it's not actually what they mean - i.e. a) it's "sense-less" in some cases but b) Texted is undoubtedly "correct"

And finally I think you asked for an example where "-ed" wasn't used to "past-tense-ize" a verb. Above I noticed this

Build - past tense - Built - not Builded - or am I missing something?


m.mouse Jan-28-2010

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Phil, that's a hilarious link. I can sympathize. I'm working on a project right now studying a dialect of Ojibwe, a language spoken by the indigenous people of the upper US midwest and southern Ontario, Canada. While they don't mutate the sounds at beginnings of words as dramatically as Welsh, it is impossible to use a verb (and sometimes nouns!) without attaching multiple prefixes to it. So until you know all of the tense, aspect, and person markers for the language, looking up words is hopeless. "Ngiizegzid" is filed under Z.

jls.junkmail Jan-28-2010

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Regarding "verbizing" nouns, anyone who opposes that is surely unaware of the extensive history of such activity in the history of English. :) Contentious examples include access (1962), impact (1935), and enthuse (1827). But many verbs were created this way centuries ago: link (1300s), love (very old), and others. The process can go in reverse, too: sink (1400s) was originally a verb, as was drink (very old).

As for the pronunciation of "texted": it certainly is a lot of consonant sounds, but in no situation would I ever devoice the "-ed" suffix. Trying it out just now in rapid speech, I do tend to elide the final "t" sound in "text" to produce something like "tex-ed" (two syllables). But for me it is unequivocally two syllables and the "-ed" suffix is clear as day. In slow speech I enunciate all of the consonants: "texted".

jls.junkmail Jan-28-2010

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I do take your point though - interesting stuff :)

I find all this kind of stuff interesting ... and also amusing how heated and disrespectful people get when debate seems to degenerate to argument. I think
signing off with respectfully is a very cool way round this ... just thought I'd comment

Having attended a Welsh school and having had most of my lessons in Welsh (though English is my first language) the syntactic rules do, in some cases, merge incorrectly for me :) In Welsh we have a lot of what we call soft mutation where, in one type, one word ending in a vowel followed by another beginning in a vowel are joined together the suffix and prefix vowels merge into another "voweley" type sound - it's a strange old language!

If you're interested (and you do seem to be and knowledgably so) in this you might like to take a look at this

It's quite funny but true!

Cheers :)

m.mouse Jan-28-2010

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Hi Jason

Thanks for that :) I think, in a sense, we're both saying the same thing, albeit you more eloquently and having knowledge of the correct terminology (I got lost with transitive verbs etc. when I was in school :-P) I was merely pointing out that a) people were arguing "at cross purposes" for the reasons you/we gave - the different "senses" of the verb Text (tensless? verb) or Texted (past tense) - i.e. in this sense there are two issues can the noun text be made into a verb and - erm all that stuff you said about tenseless or past tense

b) The OED does suggest this "Verbising" of the noun text to be correct since 2004

I'ld be interested also on your take on the pronunciation - I personally think it's just an unfortunate coincidence that Text and Texed sound the same and that Text-ed would be correct (with a "hard" second T)

Cheers :)


m.mouse Jan-28-2010

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Other examples may clarify


yes I texted you earlier
yes you texted me earlier
did i text you earlier?
did you text me earlier?

(both text and texted correct as past tense verbs depending on sense)

Incorrect: (Obviously)

yes I text you earlier
yes you text me earlier
did i texted you earlier?
did you texted me earlier?

So, in summary, the use of Texted as a past tense verb of to send a text/text message/whatever is correct - and defined as correct in the OED - as far as pronunciation goes, I haven't got access to the online OED but my guess would be Tex-ted, Text-ed or tek-sted as in Tes-ted or test-ed. To pronounce it Texed (which, only by coincidence, in this particualar case is phonetically similar to the "base word" text) would be incorrect - to pronounce Text-ed as Texed would be analogous to inventing a new phoenetic rule of "the second T in texted is silence and pronounced Texed" - ridiculous

That's all folks :)

m.mouse Jan-28-2010

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The string "did you text" is not an example of "text" in the past tense. Here, "did" is an auxiliary verb, which necessarily takes a verbal complement in base form. The base form is sometimes called the infinitive. The tense of the whole question, "Did you text me last night?" is certainly past, but the word "text" is tenseless in your example.

For new words in English, transforming a verb to past tense really is simply a matter of adding "-ed" to the end. While the rules of a language do change over time, there is no evidence whatsoever that the rules for past tense formation are changing in English. I would welcome any examples of other new words which have taken past tense forms not ending in "-ed", but I sincerely doubt they exist.


jls.junkmail Jan-28-2010

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Hi There

I must admit that I didn't get to the end of this thread but possibly another spanner in the works is that the past tense gets modified by the subject... e.g. "did you text me last night" or (to use the noun) "did you send me a text last night" could both be answered in the affirmative with either of the following 1. "yes i texted you last night" 2. "yes i sent you a text last night" (noun version); however, note also that text in "did you text" is a past tense verb ... whereas did you texted is clearly wrong. My point is that to transform a verb to past tense is not simply a matter of adding "-ed" on the end.

I think an answer on google answers finalises this:

According to the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary
(available through some libraries), there has been a verb "text" since
the 1500s, with a past tense of "texted" or "tex'd." The current
meaning of "to send a text message" was accepted by the OED in its
draft additions of June 2004, and includes the example of "texted."

That's the OED's stance on the subject! This is nothing new however - language is always in a state of flux and when quoting "rules" is simply a statement of the current "rule" at that time - it changes and it has changed - get over it. Place names have been shortened; not due to laziness but due to soft mutations and popular consensus - to quote a current "rule", moreso, to ridicule others *incorrectly* for using texted as a past tense rule is pompus, snobish and arrogant. The only reason people would do this would be to make themselves appear clever and they usually do so by a misguided belief in their own knowledge and opinion rather than actually looking up the "rule" in the first place

Just my two pence worth lol


m.mouse Jan-28-2010

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I usually spell it "texted" but pronounce it "texed" and kinda just drop the t since it makes it easier to say.

hollyberryjoan Jan-28-2010

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The problem is, the word "text" is a noun. Lately it has become a verb, therefore it is difficult to give a noun a past tense.

whit Jan-22-2010

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Text should join the list of irregular verbs in the English language. These include: hurt, set, cut, put, beat, cast, cost, forecast, broadcast, hit, let, upset, et al. Context dictates tense. Children who are still learning the English language often pronounce the past tense of these verbs incorrectly (e.g. hurted or cutted). IM and text messaging have gained popularity in todays mobile and online social tools. They have gained popularity with children and young adults. They have become social norms. They are also butchering the English language. Texted needs to be considered improper English.

mwpittman Jan-09-2010

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I like Mac's explanation. I didn't sense any arrogance in it and it sounds like a reasonable explanation. Thanks.

eecc86 Dec-02-2009

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If this ends up posted twice, I apologize, but I hit the wrong key the first time.

Going back to porsche's post:

>>" If the present tense of the verb ends in a consonant “t” or “d” sound, then the -ed adds a syllable, ending in a voiced “d”, usually pronounced something like -id, (but the vowel is really a shwa).... For all other verbs, the -ed does NOT add an extra syllable. It only adds either a “t” sound or “d” sound, appended to the end of the word without adding a syllable."

If you listen carefully to folks in my area of the country, you will not hear the final "t" on "text" when people are speaking extemporaneously. You will hear they send tex' messages and are tex'ing their friends. People who pronounce the word without the final "t" sound will tend to follow the linguistic rule that says not to add an extra syllable after the "x" sound, following the same rule as is used with faxed, waxed, fixed, mixed.

Those who do pronounce the final "t" will tend to use two syllables. I am told that in the OED, "tex'd" is listed as one of the spellings for the past tense of "text." Unfortunately, I'm not home right now, or I'd go check my own copy. Can do it tonight, if anyone is that interested.

English is a living language that changes constantly. In Shakespeare's day it was common to pronounced the -ed as a separate syllable on many words that we pronounce as one syllable now:

I nurs'd her daughter that you talk'd withal.
(Romeo and Juliet 1.5.115)

I'll bet he received a lot of criticism from the linguists of his day.

Gotta love a living language. It never gets stale.


stphfplt Dec-02-2009

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I'm a bit puzzled by some of the debate on this thread. First of all, the spelling of a word and its pronunciation are not independent. If indeed we were to settle on 'text' as the past tense form of 'text', it would not be spelled "texted"; it would be spelled "text". So that's irrelevant. What does matter is the rule for forming past tense verb forms in English, which was stated well by porsche back on October 5th. Irregular word forms (such as geese, built, mice, brought, cast, and many others) are very old words that have persisted through centuries of changes in English -- and they were all regular at one time.

However, the regular patterns of forming plurals, past tense, and other word forms are very well-established and part of the linguistic knowledge of every native speaker. Whenever a new word is introduced (as in the new verb "text", from the noun "text"), it follows these regular patterns, without exception. The past tense of 'text' would be 'texted' and there's absolutely no way around that because there is no optionality in the rules or wiggle room for what sounds right.

I won't call 'text' as a past tense form incorrect, in case usage of it eventually predominates, but I do see those who prefer it in two possible categories:

1) You are choosing to use "text" in the past tense because you think it sounds nicer and see precedent in verbs like cast, cut, and wed.
In this case, I say that you are probably fighting a losing battle against the extremely powerful rules of English, and that anyone who hasn't made the same aesthetic choice will probably misunderstand you.

2) You are choosing to use "text" in the past tense because it's the only way you've ever done it and it's the natural way to form the past tense for you.
In this case, I find you to be a very interesting case study, because your choice is highly unexpected for a word entering the language. As others have pointed out -xt is an unusual end to an English verb (or any English word, for that matter), and the relation of that to your unexpected grammatical choice could be interesting.


jls.junkmail Oct-27-2009

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It's funny, I hear most people say 'text-ed' and yes, I think it sounds wrong. I guess it's not and the answer is unclear. I prefer text used for present and past tense. I won't go around correcting anyone, though. LOL.

eecc86 Oct-24-2009

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If you need examples of words that have changed in this manner throughout history simply look at the long list of I-mutations.

"I-mutation is caused by the very human habit of laziness: taking the shortest distance between two points. The plural of man in ancient West Germanic, the ancestor of Old English, used to be a word something like *manniz. The speakers "cheated" on the first vowel in the word to be in position for the second vowel. It's the same thing you do with doing. It doesn't change the meaning of the word to do so.

So after hundreds of years of this, the plural came out as *menniz, or something similar, when people said it. Eventually, the shifted vowel itself comes to stand for the plural, and since laziness dislikes doing the same job twice, the syllable at the end of the word slowly shriveled and dropped off."

This of course explains why we geese, and built. Instead of builded and gooses. So all of you guys talking s*** about people being lazy by saying text instead of texted need to realize just how many words that you use on a daily basis came to be exactly in this way.

Again, it is only my opinion that the smaller words which spellings could not be altered and sounded fine were left alone. But when you look at the lengths we will go to for these other words to not sound so silly, it kind of makes some sense of it all, doesnt it?

This is the full article from The Online Etymology Dictionary which I quoted from:

shauncochransbox Oct-23-2009

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Text sounds silly when pronounced texted for the same reason as build sounds silly as builded, or goose sounds silly as gooses. Am I wrong or is the reason that these words are not pronounced the way that they should be is because they just plain sound silly coming out of the mouth. Does the word builded break any rules at all?? I dont think it does. Neither does the word gooses. The reason we dont use that form of the word today to diplict a flock of geese is simply the fact that we dont like the way it sounds. We as a people decided it sounded as though you were uneducated when you spoke such words maybe? We even went so far as to change the spelling of these words dramatically!! Just so that we would never have to hear them spoken again. LoL Am I right here folks? The problem with the word text is that you cant change its spelling. Just like the examples that have been given, which were all small 3 or 4 lettered words such as cut, fit, hurt, put, rid, shut. We couldnt change the original spelling of these words so we just decided to leave them as they were. These words all sound just fine when using them in past tense form. This is my reason for thinking texted sounds silly and out of place in the English language. It should definitely IMO be left alone just as these other words have been because it just plain sounds better.

I just text my girl to look at this thread because I always correct her when she says texted.

I just texted my girl to look at this thread because I always correct her when she says text.

I think text will win out in the long run because of this fact.

shauncochransbox Oct-23-2009

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I understand lazy tongue, poor English, blah, blah, blah. But, although I've read that both are acceptable, texted-pronounced 'text' sounds better. For some reason 'text-ed' sounds wrong. The spelling similar to 'tested' but the pronunciation different. Love the complexity of the English language. TTFN

eecc86 Oct-18-2009

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No more relevant than "chat" which isn't relevant because it is not preceded by a consonant sound, like, say, "x."

bjhagerman Oct-17-2009

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Hey guys, just reading through your comments, trying to weave through your explanations and I came up with one example that no one has talked about yet, and that gave me pause in completely agreeing with Mark: shit. Phonetically ends in t. about that one? (Perhaps this can add a little more hillarity to this bizare forum...)

jeleveux Oct-17-2009

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Inquiry, correction, and admonishment to jai:
1. How do you figure "Grammar Girl" has any more right to make claims than say... me?
2. According to a poster who cited the OED on the previous page, the word "texted" has been around since the 15th century.
3. "Unscrupulous" means lacking the ability or desire to distinguish between right and wrong. I'm fairly sure that there is no evidence of anyone here lacking either. Don't use words you don't understand.

bjhagerman Oct-11-2009

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Hello Douglas. As I said, those were my last words, (so I'm making a liar of myself). Thanks for the debate, it's been fun. I'm going to say farewell now, to you and all those who continue to sail in the good ship Texted. I hope that a resolution will eventually be found.

Mark2 Oct-09-2009

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Sorry, I didn't mean "on purpose," I meant "appropriate."

douglas.bryant Oct-09-2009

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Mark, I wasn't patronizing you when I suggested that I had been unclear. You said yourself that I confounded you. I guess I missed your meaning.

As for my earlier statement, which you quote, I stand by it, though on reflection I might soften it some. Non-standard English can have the effect I describe, and one needs to be aware of the reader's – or listener's – possible response. I'm not saying that is a good thing, just that it happens. At the same time, the reader or listener should not make unwarranted assumptions based on linguistic prejudice. (And I'm not directing that at you personally.) I see people here slinging epithets at total strangers over minutia of usage and pronunciation, and find it unhelpful and unseemly. It's a fault all should guard against, and I include myself in that admonition. Still, it is important to know what the standard rules are, when to bend them, and when not to. We all use non-standard English occasionally; sometimes it's on purpose, sometimes it ain't.

douglas.bryant Oct-09-2009

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Hey everyone, stop arguing about it. You're being unscrupulous already! "Texted" is generally used by the populace nowadays and it might be totally acceptable in the future. But as far as I am concerned, using the noun 'text' to form the verb "texted" is gramatically incorrect. It's like saying, "I googled it". Ask Grammar Girl and be enlightened.

www.jaiho1985 Oct-08-2009

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Final Words

No Douglas, you haven't been unclear and I sense that I am being patronised when you suggest that you might have been. The fact is that I just don’t agree with you, that’s all. I know you don’t agree with me either. That’s fine. We’ll just have to leave it at that. By the way I didn’t think we were sparring. I thought it was more of a debate. I wouldn’t dare spar with someone who uses the word ‘putative’ (I had to look it up in the dictionary).

I'm just going to leave you with a quote from one of your own responses in a debate about obstinacy:

"But I do maintain that nonstandard words lead to unclarity, not just because the words may be misunderstood, but because a reader or listener with knowledge of correct English will balk and bristle at the error and doubt the articulateness of the writer or speaker."

Enough said I think.

Mark2 Oct-08-2009

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"That was so fun."
Do you mean to suggest that there is something wrong with this phrase, Mark?

bjhagerman Oct-06-2009

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Clearly I have been unclear. Let me reiterate my four points:

First, the past tense of the verb 'text' is properly written 'texted'. In this it follows the general rules of Standard English.

Second, the word 'texted' is currently spoken as both 'texted' and 'text'.

Third, usage will determine which is to be the standard pronunciation.

Fourth, "Non-standard" does not mean "Sub-standard."

Our sparring has been fun, but neither you or I will determine the future usage of any word, old or new. We may bandy precedents all day and all night, but the language will do as it likes.

My young friends, whom you dismiss, are the same sort who created our language, back when being twenty was middle-aged. Sure, they use some crappy expressions; most will vanish in time. But I prefer their neologisms and unkempt sentences to the stiff proscriptions of antiquarians who would never split an infinitive just because Cato couldn't.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in a 1813 letter: "I have been pleased to see that in all cases you appeal to usage, as the arbiter of language; and justly consider that as giving law to grammar, and not grammar to usage." I am merely extending his principle to pronunciation. In the same letter Jefferson opposes "...Purists, who would destroy all strength and beauty of style, by subjecting it to a rigorous compliance with their rules." Again, I find this especially applicable to the spoken word. Even as an old man Jefferson was open to change, and optimistic about the future of the language.

douglas.bryant Oct-06-2009

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Once again Douglas you confound me. You agree that there is no precedent for a silent 'ed' at the end of texted. You must therefore agree that there are hundreds (if not thousands) of precedents for for the 'ed' not being silent. How can you then turn it around and say that this leaves the choice to the users. I take it you're don't practice law? Just because there's an 'x' before the 't', doesn't mean a completely new rule is required. Do you imagine that there was such a debate for every other verb that had a different consonant before the final 't'? No, I don't either.

By the way since when have students been paragons of virtue when it comes to the finer points of English grammar? These same students will no doubt be happy making use of expressions such as:

That was well good

And I was like......blah, blah, blah


That was so fun

By the way, you didn’t mention what they were studying, English or woodwork?

While you are probably right about fax, I'm not so sure about telegraph. This seems to have gained a new meaning, particularly in sporting circles, where it means 'to make obvious that which you are about to do'. One verb which does appear to have dropped out of favour though, is 'to gestetner', meaning ‘to photocopy’. That’s a shame really, because it had one less syllable.

So, now that we are agreed that I am right after all, we can now move on to the past tense of tweet. I’m going to suggest ‘twitted’ (with a silent 'ed' of course).

Mark2 Oct-06-2009

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Porsche, Your analysis is excellent, and I will leave it at that.

My point is simply that usage will ultimately determine which form of a word becomes standard. I agree that it will be best if existing rules are followed; I expect they will be. The English-speaking world will probably settle on 'texted', except perhaps in casual speech. I only discuss this particular word – which I would happily do without – because it highlights several issues, in particular the difference between "standard" and "non-standard" English.

douglas.bryant Oct-05-2009

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Mark, Since you insist, I will comment on your insistence that 'text' as a past tense verb must have a precedent. You will agree, then, that 'texted' needs precedent too.

You ask for "a verb ending in ‘t’ which has a silent ‘ed’ in it’s [sic] past tense form." I think a more germane test would be this: How are words ending in '-xt' typically treated?

There are very few English words that end in '-xt'. Setting aside compounds of 'text', such as 'hypertext', most are either archaic words, like 'twixt' and 'betwixt', or archaic spellings, like 'transfixt' and 'unmixt'. This leaves only three commonly-used words with the '-xt' ending: 'context', 'next' and 'pretext'. None of these are verbs (yet!). The '-xt' verbs that do exist, like 'fixt' and 'vext', are already past tense, being archaic spellings of 'fixed' and 'vexed',

So there is no precedent for either 'text' or 'texted' as a past-tense formations of an '-xt' verb. This leaves the choice to the users of the word, at least for now.

By the way, I had a conversation with a few college students recently. These students used 'text' in its past-tense sense. But when I asked them directly what the past tense of 'text' was they all said 'texted'. This supports what I wrote in my previous comment, that ",,,‘texted’ – so spelled and so pronounced – will prevail, and that the spoken word ‘text’ as a past-tense verb will either die out or become non-standard." These students understood the difference, and were perfectly – and justifiably – comfortable with using the putative non-standard in casual conversation.

Finally, I wouldn't call English anomalous, I prefer to think of it as complex. With luck, texting as a technology will pass away – as did formerly the telegraph and will soon the fax – and with it this particular conundrum. Let's all move on to the past tense of 'tweet'.

douglas.bryant Oct-05-2009

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oops, correction. In the post above, I meant half a millenium, not half a century.

porsche Oct-05-2009

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Douglas, we often agree, but I'm afraid I have to side with Mark this time, even on the points that he has already capitulated.

First of all, all these word lists and examples aren't particularly helpful. There is a simple, standard, consistent paradigm for pronunciation of standard past tense in English. Understand, I'm only talking about the standard past tense formed by adding -ed to the end of the present tense. It works like this:

If the present tense of the verb ends in a consonant "t" or "d" sound, then the -ed adds a syllable, ending in a voiced "d", usually pronounced something like -id, (but the vowel is really a shwa). Notice I didn't say the verb must end in a "t" or "d", but the actual final sound must be "t" or "d".

For all other verbs, the -ed does NOT add an extra syllable. It only adds either a "t" sound or "d" sound, appended to the end of the word without adding a syllable. If the present tense ends with a voiced sound then you add the voiced "d" to the past tense without adding a syllable. If the present tense ends with an unvoiced sound then you add the unvoiced "t", again, without adding a syllable.

This brings us to our first disagreement. The word "faxed" is pronounced EXACTLY as it is spelled. It is pronounced "fax't", one syllable, unvoiced "x" means the "d" is pronounced unvoiced, as "t", perfectly consistent with the standard pronunciation rule.

Next disagreement regarding "Whether it has a ‘t’ in it is not relevant." No, it is completely relevant. re-read the rule above. Words ending in "t" or "d" add a syllable. All others do not.

Debut is tricky, but it still follows the rule perfectly. It is pronounced "day-byou". The "t" is silent. It ends in a voiced, vowel sound, so you don't add a syllable and you use the voiced "d". The past tense, "debuted" is pronounced "day-byou'd", again, exactly according to the rule. Comparing text to debut is not useful. Text ends in a "t" sound. Debut does not.

Hated is two syllables, "hate-id". Corroded is three, "cor-rode-id". Pained is one, "pain'd". passed is one, "pass't". Rued is "Rue'd. See? examples of every combination according to the rule above.

Next, you haven't just listed verbs whose past tense sounds the same as the present tense. You listed verbs whose past tense IS the same at the present tense. Nowhere have you listed a verb that adds "-ed" but adds no sound at all. Technically, you have risen to Mark's challenge, but it's irrelevant to the issue of text vs. texted. These are all irregular verbs. Usually, irregular verbs retain their irregular form because they are ancient and their old form is retained from half a century or more of familiarity. It would be extremely unusual to adopt an irregular form for a new common word, especially a non-technical one.

Every single example in all the posts for this topic follows the rule I have mentioned regardless of what the posters are trying to prove. If you want to follow standard English pronunciation, then the same rule would dictate that texted should be pronounced "tekst-id", since "text" ends in a "t" sound.

I think the difficulty with some is that "text" already ends in a triply compounded consonant, quite a mouthful. Also, you'd be hard pressed to find any other verb that ends in the same triple consonant, so there really aren't any comparable verbs. Tell you what, let's do some verbification of our own. Let's invent a verb, "context", meaning, say, to put something in context. If I did it yesterday, I would have contexted it. Would you pronounce it con-text-ed, or context, same as the present tense?

porsche Oct-05-2009

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OK, OK Douglas, enough with the past tense same as present tense examples already. You've made your point, and made it with aplomb. Clearly we can see that English is an anomalous language. The main thrust of my argument though, part of which is now in tatters, is that we needn't make it any more so than it already is.

On the plus side (for me anyway), whilst you met the past/present tense challenge extremely well, you still haven't satisfactorily produced a verb ending in 't' which has a silent 'ed' in it's past tense form. 'Debut' is a bit of a cheat really since, in it's spoken form, it doesn't end in a 't' at all. This means that pronouncing texted as 'text' still has no precedent, and also confirms that I'm still right.

I know I'm going to regret saying that. Over to you Douglas.

Mark2 Oct-05-2009

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Mark: Let me try to clarify my comment. I am not proposing "new spelling rules." As I stated, the written form of the past tense of the verb 'text' should, according the rules of Standard English, be ‘texted’. But 'text', as a verb, is a new usage, and both 'texted' and 'text' are common pronunciations of its past tense. One will likely win out, but at this point it is premature to dismiss either: the standard form will be the one most people choose to use.

I cited 'faxed' as an comparison because it is also a new word, and one that is not pronounced as spelled. Whether it has a 't' in it is not relevant. Another example of spelling differing from pronunciation is 'debuted', which is pronounced as a two-syllable word with the 't' and 'd' combined into a single stop sound. It is written as it is for clarity, but pronounced the way it is for simplicity; the same argument could be made for 'texted', if one were so inclined.

As for other verbs where the present tense sounds exactly like the past, here is a partial list: beat, bet, burst, cast, cost, cut, fit, hit, hurt, knit, put, rid, shut, slit, split and wed. Again, I am not saying that the past tense of 'text' be spelled 'text', but that argument could be made based on the existence of these words.

I think that 'texted' – so spelled and so pronounced – will prevail, and that the spoken word 'text' as a past-tense verb will either die out or become non-standard. But non-standard is not sub-standard. Those who denigrate non-standard English speakers betray their own ignorance of the history of English.

douglas.bryant Oct-04-2009

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You've lost me now Douglas. If fax was spelled faxt you'd have a point. It isn't though, so you don't. Also, you can't say 'this is the spelling, but we're going to make up our own pronunciation.' Where would that leave us. There are already some very well set precedents for how this word should sound (see my previous post), we don't need to create another. The whole point here is that the, so called, spoken version of the past tense is being incorrectly pronounced, and as such, sounds exactly like the present tense. Perhaps, Douglas, you could let me know of another verb where the the present tense sounds exactly like the past tense when spoke?. While you are at it, you could also try to find another verb, in it's past tense form, where the 'ed' after a 't' becomes silent. Please, let us not start creating new spelling rules. Particularly ones which make no sense & don't even sound correct.

Mark2 Oct-04-2009

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Google Search guy found the site that everyones talking about.. See "Texted" being used and and spoken by todays youth!!! Parents approve,Like Myself.

ceo Oct-03-2009

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Mark, half a wit is better than none. Mike is correct, but only as far as the spoken word is concerned. The written form should, by the rules of Standard English, be 'texted'.

But Merriam-Webster, by their own account, only studies the written usage:

"Each day most Merriam-Webster editors devote an hour or two to reading a cross section of published material, including books, newspapers, magazines, and electronic publications; in our office this activity is called 'reading and marking'."

They call it 'reading'. What a clever bunch. No mention of listening, though.

The word 'texted' is new and its pronunciation is still up for grabs. I have heard it both ways – as 'texted' and as 'text'. Consider the verb 'to fax': its past tense is spelled 'faxed', yet nearly everyone says 'faxt'. I'm not advocating one pronunciation of 'texted' over another; perhaps one will win out or perhaps we are stuck with both. But the use of one or the other is not laziness, as Paulina suggests, nor dim-wittedness, as you do. It is merely preference.

douglas.bryant Oct-01-2009

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Mike, clearly you are a halfwit:

Taste - Tasted
Last - Lasted
Best - Bested
Test - Tested
Bust - Busted

OK so the last one is a joke, but these words have never caused a stir for having 'ed' on the end. Moreover they've never caused anyone any difficulty with pronunciation. So why should texted seem so outlandish? I'm going to have to refer you back to the reply on the 1st of June 2009 from the writers of the Websters dictionary. I can't believe it wasn't the final word on the matter.


Mark2 Oct-01-2009

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Vote for Paulina... "YOU ROCK GIRL" Let me buy you a round or 2! my email for You.. She can be a snob if she wants... TEXTED TEXTED TEXTED TEXTED TEXTED TEXTED TEXTED TEXTED TEXTED TEXTED Lol ;)

ceo Sep-30-2009

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Paulina, you're wrong. Both "text" and "texted" are acceptable. It's not a lazy tongue, nor is it an opportunity for you to be a snob (sorry).

mike7 Sep-30-2009

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No, it's "I text him yesterday" that makes one cringe, it's so crass and vulgar! Not to
mention sloppy (lazy tongue) and ignorant to the rest of English. It seems to be
only with people who say "deteriated" instead of "deteriorated" because it's too
difficult for their poor lazy mouth. It's wrong! Now repeat 500 times: texted texted texted texted texted texted texted texted texted texted texted texted texted...

paulina Jun-07-2009

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Bill, you are the one who is ignorant. You don't say "I sent you a texted message" because the "text" there is a noun not a verb. Do you make all your nouns past tense then? E.g. Bill's cat is black. Bill's catted was black. No! It's quite simple, text, texting, texted. Very simple regular English rules applied. Just like mix, mixing, mixed, you add an "ed" on the end for past tense. In olden times you would pronounce the "ed" as another syllable e.g. mix'ed, text'ed.

razz Jun-07-2009

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I'm going to stick my neck out here & say it should be texted. It's not hard to say, in spite of previous comments, and I'm more likely to cringe when I hear people say "I text him." Anyway, if there isn't a distinction, how can we tell if someone is talking in the past tense or present? It's 'texted' without a shadow of a doubt. In my experience it's the less well educated people I know who say 'text', and the better educated who say 'texted'. Proof, if proof were needed, that texted is correct. If you have corrected something, you dont say "I correct it," you say "I corrected it." It's simple really. I honestly can't see what the debate is about.

Mark2 Jun-04-2009

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I tend to use "text" instead of "texted" when talking in the past tense. Both "texted" and "text" seem to be in use regardless of what the dictionary says. The good thing about the English language is that we don't have an Academy prescribing trends for us to follow, instead dictionaries observe current trends and standardise them. If "text" as the past participle isn't in the dictionary yet, it will be soon!

letizia Jun-02-2009

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    To me “Yesterday I text him” has the same feel as “Yesterday I paint the house.”

    I am surprised at how many have said that the sound of “Yesterday I texted him” makes them cringe;  I don’t understand why.  Having skimmed the entries, above, I didn’t notice anyone explaining why this makes them cringe, either.  Perhaps someone will, and my mind will be changed, though.

brian.wren.ctr Jun-02-2009

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I still cringe when I hear people say 'texted' just sounds ridiculous. I will keep using 'text'. The other suggestion that we use 'texd' even sounds better. Even though I hate hearing that word, I suppose in the end it is each to his own.

lynnb48 Jun-02-2009

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From: Dan Brandon
Sent: Mon 6/01/09 1:47 PM

QUESTION: I'm sure you've been asked this before, but I need to know. What is the past tense of "to text"? And if it has not been officially decided, who decides when new words are part of the dictionary? This certainly needs to be addressed. Thanks. Sincerely, Marianne

RESPONSE: The verb "text" is conjugated according to the normal English pattern, so the past tense would be "I texted." Here at Merriam-Webster, we have a series of criteria that a word has to meet to be considered for entry in our dictionary. We spend a certain amount of time every day scouring all sorts of published material for examples of new words, and when we find them, they go into our citation database. When we revise our dictionary, we check the database to see if any of these new words have enough support to warrant their entry. For more information on the process and criteria we use to enter words in the dictionary, please visit our Web site at Daniel Brandon,Associate Editor, Merriam-Webster Inc.

shool7 Jun-01-2009

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@Luis Valentine

TheIR!!! Not there, theIR!!

And why would you assume T-Mobil didn't catch that? They did. Texted is, obviously, correct.

McBee Apr-09-2009

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I saw a T-MOBIL commercial the other day and it portrayed two young girls with there mother sitting at a shopping mall text messaging. One of the girls said to the other that she just "texted" her friend.
I was surprised that T-Mobil didn't catch on to that and edit it out of the commercial.

turbogato1 Apr-08-2009

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There apear to many varied academic arguments for both 'texted' and 'text' as past tense for text.

From a personal perspective, though, I can say that when I say 'texted' it seems right but sounds wrong. On the other hand, when I even think of using only 'text' as the past tense (let alone allowing the sound to materialise from my lips) I feel dirty and get a shiver like when you eat the jelly off tinned ham!

Charlatan Mar-26-2009

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Problem is, your use of “text” as a past tense carries the phonetic implication, in English, that “tex” is the present tense, suitable also for an imperative, as if one would say “tex me, baby, it feels so good.” To me, “He text me yesterday” sounds like “She kiss me last Monday, she leave me last Tuesday.” All is forgiven if you’re new to the language, but come on! Comprehensibilty, tradition, and aesthetics can get along just fine. If “texted” is intolerably ugly to some, then I stand correct’d, and here’s hoping I won’t be arrest’d.

Mad_Tad Mar-21-2009

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IDC what everyone says...I use TEXT as the past tense of Text. "Texted" sounds ridiculous, and appears to be grammatically incorrect. I understand that and Urban Dictionary recognize the word TEXTED, but Merrier-Webster does not...not do I. It is a built in past tense, and it sounds cleaner and clearer to use TEXT as present, past and future tenses.

Claudia1 Mar-19-2009

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Porsche, I know that the "nucular" pronunciation is disapproved of by many people. But I wanted to know how it could be "more than a bit frightening". How is a variant pronunciation frightening?

goofy Jan-13-2009

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furthermore, I would like to propose the following etymology (is this the right word for origin of pronunciation, rather than the origin of the word itself?) Please note, this is pure speculation on my part.

Nuclear is a relatively recent word (middle nineteenth century) with a rather technical origin. It probably didn't enter common usage right away. It is also somewhat difficult to pronounce with its compound consonant, a bit unusual in English.

I've actually heard recordings of Harry S Truman saying "nucular". Considering that he was president when the first atomic bomb was dropped, I would guess that the word "nuclear" and the pronunciation "nucular" was suddenly under great public focus.

Clearly, the "nucular" pronunciation is simply an example of metathesis, like when a child says pasketty instead of spaghetti, but when someone of such great influence does it, it can have great impact on the language. I would suggest that it is in deference to Harry Truman that the use of nucular, especially by politicians, has become somewhat common (personally, I suspect that calling it "widespread" is a gross overstatement on M-W's part).

If I may relate an event that happened when I was in college. I was taking a course in communications theory. English was not the professor's first language, and he had trouble pronouncing the word "facsimile" (fack-si-mi-lee). Instead he would pronounce it as "fack-smile", two syllables, where the second syllable is said like "smile for the camera". He was certainly an intelligent and very well-respected faculty member, but just had a little trouble with the language. Wouldn't you know it, a few students in the class actually started pronouncing the word "fack-smile" (only when in the class), I guess, to spare embarrasment (his and/or theirs), or perhaps in deference.

Imagine this same phenomenon on a presidential scale.

porsche Jan-13-2009

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Goofy, I'm afraid your quoting of Merriam-Webster is both incomplete and out of context. First, you left out the part at the very beginning where it says: "Though disapproved of by many...". Next, if you had researched it further you would have found the following clarification, directly from Merriam-Webster. Taken from:

We do not list either the ÷feb(y)wer pronunciation of February or the ÷ nü-kyl(r) pronunciation of nuclear as "acceptable"; we merely list them as commonly used pronunciations. Both of those pronunciations are clearly preceded by the obelus mark ÷ (which looks like a division sign). This mark indicates "a pronunciation variant that occurs in educated speech but that is considered by some to be questionable or unacceptable." A full description of this can be found in the Key to Pronunciation Symbols. We are definitely not advocating that anyone should use those pronunciations or that they should abandon the others that are regarded as more acceptable.

Of course, M-W goes on in descriptive fashion to say that they are presenting usage, not "correct" pronunciation, if there even is such a thing, and that it is their responsibility to present all common documented pronunciation variants. Please see the link for the full text.

porsche Jan-13-2009

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According to Merriam-Webster, the nucular pronunciation is in "widespread use among educated speakers including scientists, lawyers, professors, congressmen, United States cabinet members, and at least two United States presidents and one vice president." Why is it frightening that some presidents have a different accent than you?

Nunberg says:

'...But it doesn't explain why you still hear "nucular" from people like politicians, military people, and weapons specialists, most of whom obviously know better and have been reminded repeatedly what the correct pronunciation is. The interesting thing is that these people are perfectly capable of saying "nuclear families" or "nuclear medicine." I once asked a weapons specialist at a federal agency about this, and he told me, "Oh, I only say 'nucular' when I'm talking about nukes."'

goofy Jan-11-2009

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Yes, Wittgenstein, and the man with his finger on the trigger of the largest nuclear arsenal in the world can't actually say nu-cle-ar. He says nu-CU-LAR. Nor is he the first president to do so. While I mostly agree with you, I still find this more than a bit frightening.

porsche Jan-11-2009

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Meaning = use

If everybody uses 'text' as a verb, then it's a verb.

If some people use 'texted' as the past tense of 'text,' and are generally understood by the people they are communicating with, then 'texted' is a legitimate past tense form of 'text.'

Same for the other variants. Also for words like 'aksed,' as hard as it is for my own ears to adjust. I work with a guy who speaks much more formally and with more precise enunciation than I do, who nonetheless uses 'aksed' 100% of the time. I know what he means - our customers know what he means - so why should anyone bother to 'correct' him? It's a dialectical variation, not the result of 'ignorance' or 'poor education.'

Language is constantly evolving because people and cultures are constantly evolving. We still need dictionaries and english classes so we can all keep up with one another. Just because you learned that 'text' is a noun when you were in elementary school doesn't mean it can't be a verb today.

Wittgenstein Jan-08-2009

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Am I the only person who noticed the improper use of "it's" from Garth Bryan and "weather" from Jess?

Amber2 Jan-08-2009

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Okay Well i am very confused now..
I have always said"i text" for past tense...
I wouldn't know, i'm only 14..
I honestly don't know, WHAT to say now..
Do i say text or texted? Because either way SOMEONE'S going to think i'm ignorant. What is even the point of this anyway? Both sound perfectly fine to me..
The way i saw it was exactly as another person said, "i hit him, i text him, i cut him,"

Except, with some of these arguements, i am tempted to put an 'E.D' on the end because now i fear it sounds like i am talking in the present.
I TEXT HIM as in, i usually text him.
Oh, you know what, i give up!

Bonnie-Leigh Dec-28-2008

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It's the same as " vex " using " vexed " as the past tense !

WaldoX Dec-27-2008

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Ralliart, I cannot agree with your argument. The regular and natural way to form the simple past tense of a verb that ends in 't' is to add 'ed' at the end. Here are some examples of the regular use of the simple past tense of some other verbs that end in 't': 'he hunted', 'I inherited', 'she greeted', 'we waited', 'it melted'. Verbs like 'to hit' or 'to cut' are irregular in this respect (see We should not be adding new irregularities to the language on a whim. That would be completely arbitrary as DFWDave correctly points out.

'Texted' is the only correct and acceptable way to form the past tense of this verb. And if I hear people say something like 'I text him yesterday' it sounds like the person hasn't given any thought to what they have said. It just sounds completely wrong, and it is!

Paul3 Dec-15-2008

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Why are people debating this? The verb is already listed in many dictionaries with its past tense noted as "texted" with two syllables.

In addition to the citations listed above, here is another:

There's no justification for a perception of the use of "texted" as uneducated. In fact, it seems the opposite may be the case.

Additionally, to accept "texted" in written form but verbally pronounce it as "texed", or any variation thereof, has no precedent. Doing so would be simply arbitrary and should be disregarded as a solution.

It's "texted". The educated already know this.

DFWDave Dec-08-2008

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