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Joined: January 28, 2010  (email not validated)
Comments posted: 7
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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 :)

Phil M January 28, 2010, 6:45pm

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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


Phil M January 28, 2010, 6:16pm

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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?


Phil M January 28, 2010, 6:09pm

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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 :)

Phil M January 28, 2010, 5:45pm

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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 :)


Phil M January 28, 2010, 5:24pm

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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 :)

Phil M January 28, 2010, 5:01pm

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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


Phil M January 28, 2010, 4:46pm

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