Q: "coned", v. (past tense), 1741

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Thu Nov 27 20:07:29 UTC 2008

At 11/26/2008 08:45 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>At 7:54 PM -0500 11/26/08, Laurence Horn wrote:
>>At 7:35 PM -0500 11/26/08, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>>>What is "coned" in the following,a written by an intelligent and
>>>well-read 20-year old South-Carolinian miss in1742, describing her
>>>study of law from a book and writing wills for a few neighbors?
>>>"I know I have done no harm for I coned my lesson very perfect and
>>>know how to convey by will Estates real and personal and never forget
>>>in its proper place, him and his heirs for Ever ..."
>>>The editors of her journal do explain a few other words unusual to us
>>>today, but don't say a word here.
>>I'd wager an irregularly spelled passed tense of the verb _con_:
>Oops.  Talk about an irregularly spelled "passed tense"!

Well, it passed beyond my con.  :-)  I did of course know "conn" and
"conning tower", but was deceived by the OED's "con v.1" because it
starts "I. Where can became the normal form" and so I did not read
further  Thanks to all who insisted on the "know" or "learn" sense
for leading me on to the OED's "II. Senses in which CON remained the
normal form, with the regular weak inflexions."  (Such as
"coned"?).  I see under form (beta) there is even a quotation from 1720.

However, the OED has no quotations with the simple past tense spelled
"coned" (it does have "conned").  To be submitted.


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

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