Past tense of pet

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun Sep 14 17:23:30 UTC 2003

The rule is just a general rule that says many monosyllabic verbs with a
short vowel do not inflect for tense. Rather than saying those verbs are
irregular, you just say it's a type X verb. So, yes there are many verbs
like vet, fit, gut, etc., that aren't of this type even though they also fit
the requirements.

Even if dictionaries don't like this non-inflection, though, it seems that
this rule can be applied to some verbs, anyway.

But pet seems to me to go both ways, like knit...So far, two votes against
and one for, and a whole bunch of Webidence for as well...

Benjamin Barrett
Baking the World a Better Place

FWIW, I wonder if there are people who say things like net and gut. Talking
in a slower accent, "He net the fish and then gut 'em." I don't think I'd
say it, but it doesn't sound too bad...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society
> [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Douglas G. Wilson
> Sent: Sunday, 14 September 2003 9:42 AM
> Subject: Re: Past tense of pet
> >Yet pet follows the standard short vowel, monosyllabic rule like
> >put-put-put and set-set-set.
> What rule is that?
> A few verbs have this paradigm: "put", "set", "let". Some
> have it as a 'standard' alternative: "fit", "wet" (also
> "shit", "spit" maybe).
> But: "I have net several fish, and I have gut them"? "I have
> vet his report, and he has dot all his 'i's"?
> "I have pet the dog today" cannot be standard, since I don't
> approve of it.
> (^_^) It does occur repeatedly on the Web, but that's not
> called the "Web of grammatical errors" for nothing. (^_^)
> -- Doug Wilson

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