[Ads-l] "flied out" vs. "flew out" again

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Feb 26 17:09:35 EST 2017

> On Feb 26, 2017, at 4:03 PM, Barretts Mail <mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> When a verb is coined from a noun, the general rule is that the verb is regular (regardless of whether there is an incorporated verb that is irregular or if the form itself is identical to an irregular verb).
> If you haven’t read “The Language Instinct” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Language_Instinct <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Language_Instinct>) by Steven Pinker, it’s a good read and he discusses this rule. He notes that in baseball, when a batter hits a fly, the past tense of “to fly” is “flied.”
(Incidentally, since Pinker is wrong about the above claim, he didn’t, in my dialect, “note” this, but rather claimed it.  I’m pretty sure “note” can only be factive for me.  I was going to but forgot to add that the “flew out” case is very different from another one Pinker mentions:  he notes (correctly) that the past tense of “to grandstand” can only (for me) be “grandstanded”, not “grandstood” (except in jocular occurrences and, according to one website, in Scrabble).  This is, if I recall, because we “know” that the verb derives from the noun, as opposed to, say, “understand”/“understood”.  Or, for at least some of us, for “fly (out)”.


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