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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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Thank you in advance for anyone who decides to go past the point im making and point out the flaws in my hurried statement. Please just stick to the actual topic at hand....this is a good topic.

Ralliart403 Dec-01-2008

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I think that texted just sounds like it would come from someone who is uneducated. I cannot take anyone serious who uses it. There are alot of words that are slang. This is not a slang, it would fall more under a jargon being that it is more closely related to a technological change in the usage of a word. Which would mean there are no set guuidlines in how it is really used. However, it still brings me two other words like Hit or Cut. I Hit him, is past tense, I cut this, is past tense.. I text him.... NOW there is confusion?? Im not sure as to why. The confusion starts when the word text which orignally started as a noun which ment any of the various forms in which a writing exists. I like that meaning the best. However now text has become a verb which shows an action not the actual "thing" being sent. If we are going to change this due to technology when I send you a picture which is a noun would I have then pictured you? Sounds just as absurd right? Because when used properly as in "I sent you a picture you say just that. In that case we would say I sent you a text. And this whole confusion would be done. However we crossed over and are creating a hybrid which is noun used a verb following noun properties! These are some of the effects of the changes in technology that cause a new language or jargon. The only reason that texted has came about is because of the easability to add an 'ed, oh and the great education system that we have. If simply using a word incorrectly will make it correct then why do we even worry about having a dictionary or english class?

Ralliart403 Dec-01-2008

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David, I don't think "phone e-mailing" works very well. You can actually send e-mail from your phone as well, but that's not the same thing as sending a text message.

anonymous4 Sep-22-2008

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I think the verb "texting" should be "phone e-mailing"

David_Calman Sep-21-2008

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A while ago Porsche and I talked about how long "text" has been a verb. 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.

John4 Sep-19-2008

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Whenever I hear someone "text" in the past tense, I cringe and think they're ignorant. It is akin to hearing someone say that they "aksed" you a question instead of "asked". Using the word "text" makes you sound lazy and uneducated.

Texted Sep-19-2008

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Here's what we should do. Past tense should always be WRITTEN "texted", but past tense can be SPOKEN in two forms: tekst or tek'-sted.

It's as simple as that.

the_natural_solution Aug-26-2008

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"Texted" Messages will be in Your Daily Stressed Lives in no time... as the word I "HATE" is Bling, Bling in my "BANK ACCOUNT" $tanZe"MAN"

ownthisdomain Aug-20-2008

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Since the text question is vexed, you can do your own thing or just avoid the issue using more words. Spitfire is right, "sent a text" defines the tense of text, skirts the issue and avoids the shibbolethic pronounciation.

pb1 Aug-14-2008

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I agree with Jess. Anytime I hear someone say "texted" I cringe and instantly think they are ignorant. I think the past tense of text, is text. "I text you yesterday" is short for "I sent you a text message yesterday". Why would a person say "I sent you a texted message yesterday"? Using "texted" for the past tense of text, sounds just as bad as using "thinked" for the past tense of think.

Bill1 Aug-13-2008

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"SMSed" sounds better than "texted".

Perhaps "texd"?

ricochet Aug-05-2008

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I don't use "texted" either. I always say, "i text you a minute ago. it sounds the same it means the same thing. I "texted" you makes me cringe. weather im right or not it sounds sloppy.

Jess1 Aug-05-2008

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I don't understand why anyone is confused about this. Text is now a verb because most of us use it as a verb, and like it or not that's how the English language evolves. In the past tense it becomes 'texted'. This is entirely regular. We should not be trying to work out irregular forms of new verbs just because some people think a regular conjugation doesn't sound right. Personally I think 'texted' sounds exactly right and is easy to pronounce so why is it a problem? And I think any new verbs that come into use in the language should always be conjugated in a regular form. Irregular verbs are there because of historical inconsistencies and although these existing irregularities make our language more interesting we should not introduce further irregularities for the sake of it.

I have noticed that in speech some people will say something that sounds like 'I texed you yesterday' but this is probably due to confusion surrounding the 't' sound at the end of the infinitive which makes it sound like 'text' is already in the past, which it is not.

Paul3 Jul-26-2008

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merriam-webster.com does list "text" as a transitive verb, therefore past tense should be "texted"

Amanda1 Jul-07-2008

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You say "Toe-may-toe", I say "Toh-mah-toh"... does it really matter? No matter what ends up in the dictionaries, there will still be fools who mispronounce the word. Texted seems fine. Using "text" as a past tense "I text you about it yesterday" sounds clumsy... but then, the English language is a smelting pot of languages and people - its sopken all over the world, and nowhere is it the same. I am living in New Zealand, and some americans cant understand me when i talk quickly. Sometimes, when Irish tourists visit NZ, I can not - for the life of me - understand them when they talk quickly. My point is - it doesn't matter what gets put into the dictionaries of the world - people will still say it wrong. (But then, at least today, I am a pessimist...)

Loving the debate...

kikazz2000 Jun-10-2008

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What does need have to do with anything?

JJMBallantyne Jun-09-2008

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After careful consideration. The answer is "sent a text". Not everything needs to be shortened.

Spitfire Jun-09-2008

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Correction: my last should have been:

I suggest that the past form is pronounced "texd."

JJMBallantyne Jun-05-2008

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I suggest that the past form is pronounced "text'd".

It should thus likely be written as "texted".

This would be in line with similar verbs like "work" and "mix".

JJMBallantyne Jun-05-2008

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I am definitely all about saying "text" as both past and present. "Texted" is just wrong.

Cami Jun-04-2008

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Yeah I am strongly evangelizing for the "text as both past and present" boat. I suggest you jump aboard.

Bonnie1 May-12-2008

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Besides the citations above of John and Confused (which convince me since dictionaries reflect, rather than determine, the way words are used), why don't we look at other English words with the form:

consonant-short vowel-consonant-t (single syllable)

and see how they are treated as a rule...

test - very close to text, yeah? tested-texted, sounds o.k. to me

best, rest, etc.

then there is sext, a real verb, meaning to text sexual meaning.

BTW Online Etymology dictionary "Shat is a humorous past tense form, not etymological, first recorded 18c"


KISS...

Aka

Aka_Alias Feb-18-2008

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i always wanna say texd. it sounds ignorant but it feels better

ahkeelah Feb-15-2008

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oops, sorry. I posted this in the wrong place. I meant to post in "no woman no cry" much apologies,all

anonymous4 Jan-29-2008

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When I see:

"no woman..." meaning "no, woman..." meaning you're saying no to a woman and actually calling her "woman" like some sort of title or nickname

and compare it to:

"no woman..." meaning "you don't have a woman..."

it reminds me of a comedy country song from long ago called "My Girl Bill". The entire song sounds like it's about a girl named Bill, but then at the very end, the last line is "...she's MY girl, BILL", and it's clear that the singer is telling this to his male friend, Bill, not singing ABOUT a girl named Bill. The entire song can be understood either way, which, I guess, is what makes it funny.

anonymous4 Jan-29-2008

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Yeah what DO you say for past perfect tense of the verb 'text'? I say we take a vote
Do you say
1. I texted you
2. I text you
3. I texed/texxed you
4. I tex'd you

Karli Jan-29-2008

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I'm writing a speech about this.. Do you people ut there say ''She texted me last night'' or ''She text me last night''?? It;s really bothering me..

CANMONEY Jan-29-2008

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I hate to say it but... the OED says that texted exists from the 15th century, and not like you may think it does.

Texted


1. Skilled or learned in ‘texts’ or authors. rare.
~(In this sense texted wel (v.r. text wel) appears in one group of Chaucer MSS., where another has textuel. The latter was prob. the original reading, but the change in some MSS. perh. implies that texted was known.)
~14+ Chaucer's Manciple's T. 131 (Harl. MS.) But for I am a man not texted wel [so Corp.; Lansd. texed, Petw. text; 3 MSS. textuel] I wil not telle of textes neuer a del. Ibid. 212 But as I sayd, I am nought tixted wel [Corp., Petw., Lansd. text; 3 MSS. textuel, -eel, tixt-].


2. Written in text-hand or text-letters; engrossed.
~ 1620 Dekker Dreame 1 They beg nothing, the texted pastbord talkes all; and if nothing be giuen, nothing is spoken. 1650–66 Wharton Poems Wks. (1683) 340 To write Custodes in a Texted-hand. 1695 Lond. Gaz. No. 3125/4 Texted Indentures for Attorneys.

Tom1 Dec-01-2007

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Way to go RenagadeX!! My thoughts exactly.

lukeabud Dec-01-2007

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I'd go with SENT as the past tense of SEND and TEXT and MAIL and SHIP. Sent can hardly be used with verbal messages, so e-mail was sent. We used to use typed as a past tense...now we use keyboarded. Why make life more complicated?

whj_wilco Nov-19-2007

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I was thinking about this while in the shower of all places and I personally say "I text him yesterday", however my grandparents (yes they can 'text') say "texted". It seems to me that as there is nothing concrete yet both "texted" and "text" can be used in the past tense and for someone to claim that either is wrong, is wrong! It is slang after all! Anyone agree?

Phil1 Nov-16-2007

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I think it's text.

Jessica2 Nov-13-2007

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I think it sounds strange to say 'text' for the past tense as well as the present. I always say 'texted' for the past tense, although it has prompted some debates with friends (as seems to be common by reading all the comments on here!).

I'm really hoping 'texted' makes it into the dictionary.

Vicki Jul-13-2007

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Why not simply "text" for a past tense? An example of other words with this rule would be "hit". The past tense of "hit" remains "hit". Personally I think it keeps it simple and sounds natural to say from an aural aspect. "Texted" just seems a little odd, as most of you have admitted to. Kudos to those with my idea who had already implied it. I just felt like sharing my idea.

Brandon1 Jul-12-2007

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I'm curious, danielle, what exactly does your sister say it should be?

anonymous4 Jul-02-2007

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My sister and I are having this argument this minute, and I agree that it is texted, and having read all the comments, I feel justified. Thank you.

Danielle1 Jul-02-2007

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authorized is correct, not authorize. Oh, and it's an adjective, not a verb.

porsche Jun-07-2007

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Is the verb in it's correct tense if I say, "an authorized agent, " or " an authorize agent?

Gbryan Jun-07-2007

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Dr. Pete,

How do you get "taxed" as past tense for text?
I like "text messaged".

Bela Jun-02-2007

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I see your point, Porsche, but not everyone agrees. I got this info from this:
http://www.grammarphobia.com/blog/2007/05/textual-criticism.html
which states that this usage of "text" as a verb is cited in the OED. I don't have the OED to check, it could be a mistake.

John4 May-30-2007

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Actually, in that Shakespeare example, text is a noun, not a verb:

DON PEDRO.
But when shall we set the savage bull's horns on the sensible Benedick's head?

CLAUDIO.
Yea, and text underneath, 'Here dwells Benedick the married man!'


Clearly "...and text underneath" is a list continuation that grammatically means "...and SET text underneath..."


It's like saying, "When do we put the star on top of the Christmas tree? ...Yes, and presents under it!" Presents is a noun ("...PUT presents..." is implied) not a verb.

porsche May-30-2007

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"text" as a verb:

“Yea, and text underneath, ‘Here dwells Benedick the married man!’”

Shakespeare, Much ado about nothing

John4 May-28-2007

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Why are you confused? "text", past tense "texted", pronounced (in SAMPA) /tEkst@d/. Easy.

John4 May-12-2007

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I believe the past tense of text should be texted, but pronounced with the 2nd "t" silent. I've checked quite a few dictionaries, and the word "texted" does not exist. Then I came across this one:

American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source text (těkst) Pronunciation Key
n.

The original words of something written or printed, as opposed to a paraphrase, translation, revision, or condensation.
The words of a speech appearing in print.
Words, as of a libretto, that are set to music in a composition.
Words treated as data by a computer.
The body of a printed work as distinct from headings and illustrative matter on a page or from front and back matter in a book.
One of the editions or forms of a written work: After examining all three manuscripts, he published a new text of the poem.
Something, such as a literary work or other cultural product, regarded as an object of critical analysis.
A passage from the Scriptures or another authoritative source chosen for the subject of a discourse or cited for support in argument.
A passage from a written work used as the starting point of a discussion.
A subject; a topic.
A textbook.

tr.v. text·ed, text·ing, texts

To send a text message to: She texted me when she arrived.
To communicate by text message: He texted that he would be late.

Now I'm really confused!

Ginmar49 May-12-2007

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no entiiendoh naa xD

natsumii May-09-2007

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Response to John: I"m curious as to what the meaning of the verb form for "text" was in the 1500s. Can you elaborate?

Tek-wryter Feb-22-2007

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RE: fax vs. FAX

I am a technical writer, and have been for nearly 20 years, and I can tell you unequivocally that "fax" is NOT an acronym; it's merely a shortened version of the word facsimile. Check any dictionary. I looked at both the Merriam Webster online and the OED and neither one of them say its an acronym, nor do they spell it with all caps. So you folks that think it's an acronym, you need to check your facts on fax. In addition, two different style guides I checked, list it as fax and not FAX. As a matter of fact, the Microsoft Manual of Style for Technical Publications specifically states that one should never use "FAX".

Tek-wryter Feb-22-2007

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Found through Google Answers...

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 include the example of "texted.

John4 Feb-19-2007

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This is kind of interesting that this topic comes up. Recently, watching day time tv I have noticed an increased amount of usage with the work "texted". I have never heard that used otherwise. Now I am watching the O.C and I see that texted made its way into their script. Its interesting how fast we can promote stupidity in our culture over the waves in the sky.

drG Feb-18-2007

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NO, renegade, it IS an acronym. It stands for Facsimile Transmission (with transmission commonly abbreviated as X-mission), i.e., FAcsimile Xmission. So there. And it's NOT particularly off topic either.

anonymous4 Feb-02-2007

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Anonymous wrote: And, by the way, it's spelled "FAX", all capitals, not "fax".

That's off topic, and bogus. "Fax" is not an acronym, it's an abbreviation of the word "facsimile". Name me one other abbreviation that gets all-caps?

RenegadeX1 Feb-02-2007

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I know I'm guilty of saying "textED," but always with the recognition that it sounds funny.

sapphicstanza Feb-01-2007

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Anyone who says it should be "texed" because "FAX" changes to "FAXed" is an IDIOT! "Text" ends in "t". "FAX" does not. There's no analogy here at all! And, by the way, it's spelled "FAX", all capitals, not "fax".

anonymous4 Jan-29-2007

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"learnt" That form always bugs me. Learned. Ah, that's better.

fargrave Jan-26-2007

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I'm finding this discussion fascinating.
I always privately pondered whether the word should be said as "text-ted" or "text'd" (

RenegadeX1 Dec-31-2006

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Some of my uneducated friends say the past tense of text is texted. However, my cohorts and I have written dissertations about the sound of the word "texted". As an intellectual whole, we feel it doesn't fit within the overall vernacular of the English Language. The past tense of text is taxed and it will be published in Webster's Dictionary in 2008. I just got it passed.

Dr._Peter_Bloofmiiel Dec-30-2006

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Olá, sou Brasileiro e não domino muito bem o inglês e gostaria que se algum estrangeiro que entende a lingua inglesa me enviasse textos que estão no " PRESENT TENSE" E "PAST TENSE".

desde já muito obrigado!!!!

Brsil, 11 de agosto de 2006......

tiagothecomedy Aug-11-2006

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I think that it is true that it has become a verb, but in a different language. It is a verb in txt language so it has none of the original english rules to apply to it. Because txt is such a loose language, it would be perfectly acceptable to have three forms of the past tense. People use whatever they feel like, when they feel like, no matter who likes it or not. Though i am an extreme pedant, I have learnt this new language and so I know that in txt, the past tense of txt is txtd. It is little more than academic interest whether and how we should transliterate this into English as everyone who speaks txt will use the pronunciation (and people, please get that word right, it is one of my biggest pet peeves, pronounce is the verb pronunciation is the the noun) teck stid.

DamonTarlaei Mar-03-2006

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You are all wrong. Text has not become an verb, it is slang. If used as slang, the past tense of Text is Text.

Tranaut Mar-03-2006

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Yes, when "text" is a verb (i.e. send a text message), it's past tense is "texted". And I hear it quite commonly in everyday conversation.

bubbha Feb-18-2006

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Present tense text
Past perfect texed

without the harse double sound and the double false sound

More Jan-16-2006

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It is the pronumciation text-ed as 2 parts I dislike, texed should sould very similar to text , one does not say run -ed

m1 Jan-16-2006

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test - tested, fax - faxed, text - texed. Make it happen Webster!!!

tom_duke Jan-16-2006

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I personally like "Taxt" as the past tense of "Text"

but i was never very good in English

Jon2 Dec-07-2005

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I'm a grammar Nazi, so I wouldn't use it if I didn'tn think it was correct. The fax analogy serves my perspective well: I use the word "text" as a verb which I'd define as "to send an SMS text message from one mobile phone to another" and I conjugate it as a regular verb. I will text you later; I haven't texted him yet.

joannaceleftheriou Dec-04-2005

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I'm with you, Slemmet, but this happens to be one of my wife's pet peeves. She hates hearing that olympic atheletes "medal" in a particular sport. In fact, when a noun is made into a verb, she says that they "verbed a noun". See? She does it too! Personally, I love it. I think it's the dynamic nature of the language (although I do try not to use "interface" as a verb. It's such a corporate non-speak buzzword.)

porsche Oct-26-2005

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That's how it is. It sounds strange, but when written in a specific way based on how it sounds, it reads:

Tecksed-ed

Which is also confusing. There is an "ed-ed" sound in there, which you have been taught to never say.

mike7 Sep-27-2005

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"Texted" will never make it into common use. Unfortunately for some, the Internet makes it easier and faster for people to define language. Anyway, I think "texxed" or "texed" (sp?) is the best solution.

As one of the previous commentors stated, it sounds like "text." However, I think there is some small difference (softer ending sound, maybe a difference of emphasis).

me Sep-26-2005

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Stik, the point is that it is a noun that has also become a verb. That is very common in English.

slemmet1 Sep-26-2005

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Since text is not a verb (it's either a noun, as in "sending text")or an adjective, as in "text messaging") why not avoid the whole thing and say: "I sent you a text message?" or "I text messaged you"?

Stik Sep-25-2005

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"Sent" can be used in this case, as in "I sent you a message."
Don't forget that English is a living language and changes. "Fine" used to mean "thin" as in the phrase "there's a fine line between ...."

Dave3 Sep-25-2005

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We could implement a spelling change for the past tense of "text." Which, in turn, would copy an existing word and thus, create an additional meaning for this word. The past tense of "text" could be "taxed." Let us not forget that "shat" has worked wonderfully beside "shit." Although, there are no other meanings for the word "shat."

Steve1 Sep-21-2005

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I've found that when somebody says "I just texted you", even though in my head I think it's spelt "texted", people actually pronounce it the same as "text"... or maybe more accurately, "tex'd" (which then sounds almost identical to "text").

GP1 Sep-18-2005

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could always use "im'd" like...."hey, i im'd you a bit ago"

thesplenderinice Sep-18-2005

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I think the aversion to 'texted' comes from the 't' at the end which forces an awkard two syllable jump unlike faxed. It is also less pleasant than tested because of the hardness of the 'x'. But there isn't much that can be done about it since 'textd' is completely unacceaptable. Just to let you know a variant. I've used and heard several people use 'ping' instead of text. Which comes from the computer program 'ping' which lets you find a computer on the internet. So you can 'ping bob' or say 'I pinged you about it an hour ago' which is much more comfortable to say. Though I don't think it will catch on.

rdajer Sep-16-2005

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Of course it is "texted", why wouldn't it? Same as with "test/tested".

slemmet1 Sep-10-2005

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i have to admit that i am guilty of using the word "texted" when i am telling someone that i just sent them a text message. i'd say, "i just texted you!". it is just so convenient to do that. mobile text messaging language is really not a very good source of language practice.

lush Sep-09-2005

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Do you use "faxed" for the past tense of, the, now verbed, "fax"? If so, is it not the same for "text"?

;-)

M561 Sep-09-2005

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