"text" = pp of "tex"

Ben Zimmer bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM
Mon Aug 26 17:29:17 UTC 2013

On Mon, Aug 26, 2013 at 1:21 PM, Arnold Zwicky wrote:
> On Aug 26, 2013, at 8:37 AM, Mailbox <mailbox at GRAMMARPHOBIA.COM> wrote:
> >
> > I wonder if anyone else has noticed this.  A reader of our blog, a math instructor at Brown
> > Mackie College's northern Kentucky campus in Fort Mitchell, says young people in the
> > Cincinnati area construe "text" as the past tense of a verb "tex." He offered examples:
> > "Yeah, I'll tex him in a minute. ... Did he tex you back yet? ... Uh-huh. He text me back
> > a few minutes ago." He says this pronunciation is "ubiquitous" and "very clear." Possible
> > analogy with "ask"  and the one-syllable "asked"?
> > Incidentally, we've had mail before from people wondering about the past tense of "text,"
> > apparently unwilling to accept that it's "texted."
> > Pat O'Conner, grammarphobia.com
> http://arnoldzwicky.org/2008/12/25/whats-the-past-tense-of-the-verb-text/

I also wrote about this in '09:


At the time, I didn't think it was likely that /tɛkst/ would win out
as the past-tense form, but since then I've heard it used an awful


Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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