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June 1, 2009
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From: Dan BrandonSent: 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 http://www.merriam-webster.com/help/faq/words_in.htm. Daniel Brandon,Associate Editor, Merriam-Webster Inc.
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