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Hello again everyone.

I am being accused of being a miserable old git by family and friends for objecting vehemently to their use of "texed" as the past tense of "text" (as in mobile phone texting) e.g. "I texed you yesterday." This also occurs in TV programmes and seems to be widespread.

The standard response to my attempts to correct this evil misuse is that "It's easier to say than texted."

Do you think that it would be justifiable in law for me to beat them with a stick?
 
Posts: 72 | Location: Morpeth, EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Richard English
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"Texed" would be the past tense of the verb "to tex". "Texted" would be the correct past tense of the verb "to text" - assuming it is now recognised as a verb (which I am sure it is) and assuming that it is a regular verb (and I see no reason why it shouldn't be).

There is some justification for changing words to make them easier to pronounce, but I can't agree that "texted" is any more difficult to say than "texed". But the same argument could be put forward to claim that Afro-Caribbean races shouldn't say "aks" instead of "ask" - but I doubt it would have any effect, so engrained is the eccentric pronunciation.

As I have written elsewhere, I believe that correction is important - but important or not, it doesn't always (even usually?) work.


Richard English
 
Posts: 8037 | Location: Partridge Green, West Sussex, UKReply With QuoteReport This Post
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I had not heard or read the form texed (or tex'd as in this link) before. I work for a software company that is developing an OS for mobile devices, so I'll ask some of my co-workers.

I would write txted informally in email and pronounce it /'tɛkstɪd/.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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The "aks" pronunciation isn't confined to Afro-Caribbean people. It's "one of the shared characteristics between African-American English and Southern dialects of American English." It's also found "as far North as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Iowa."

"Aks" seems to be a direct continuation of Middle English "ax", as in
quote:
His nece awook and axed, 'Who goth there?'

- Chaucer's Troylus and Cryseyde 3.751
 
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"Aks" seems to be a direct continuation of Middle English "ax"

It goes back farther than that, goofy. Old English acsian 'to ask, demand' (link). For example:

Hīᵹ hine acsodon ðæt biᵹspell. Mk. Th. 4, 10. (link).

For a little history on its development in English, see the OED1 entry:



Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
Posts: 5085 | Location: R'lyehReply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by zmježd:
"Aks" seems to be a direct continuation of Middle English "ax"

It goes back farther than that, goofy. Old English acsian 'to ask, demand'


Yeah, I know, but for some reason I thought the ME form wasn't a continuation of the OE form, but was the result of a separate metathesis. Seems I was wrong.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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That's what I like about you, goofy. You don't hesitate to admit when you might be wrong, which, let's face it, is extremely infrequently. It is an excellent quality.

FatStan, it is so great to see you back! I still remember your hilarious posts in the Wives thread way back in 2002.

I've seen it written (and spoken) txted, but not texed.
 
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How large is the stick, and how many whacks?


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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I've never come across texed before, either. Like zm, the abbreviation I've seen is txted. On a my phone keypad to type "e" takes two presses whereas "t" takes one; it makes more sense, therefore, for the "e" to be left out than the "t".


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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http://www.visualthesaurus.com/cm/wordroutes/1819/
This continues to get my goat. I've just had a go at 'er indoors for telling me that she had just "text (or texed)" several of her friends to wish them a Happy New Year. What's wrong with "texted?"
 
Posts: 72 | Location: Morpeth, EnglandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi FatStan. Welcome back again! Happy New Year!

There's certainly nothing wrong with "texted", as the article you link to makes clear. I still haven't heard of the variant "texed", though. It sounds like it's a quirk either of 'er indoors alone, or of a relatively small group.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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I haven't heard the variant "texed" around here either.

I was surprised that the article implied that texted sounds wrong. It doesn't to me.
 
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Reviving a thread...

While this thread isn't about ask versus ax, I see that z had posted a great link from the OED about the origins of ask and its relationship to ax. I just heard an NPR report on ask versus ax with none other than Jesse Sheidlower chiming in.
 
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As has been said so often here before, it all boils down to being able to switch codes. Some words and pronunciations you use when with friends and family wouldn't be appropriate in your doctoral dissertation or speech at the United Nations.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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I suppose, but somehow this seems a little different to me. Ax was right from the beginning. So why can't we use it in a doctoral dissertation, just as we would ask. Is it because, wrongly, society started to look down upon ax?
 
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Reviving this thread again We have a lot of threads here where we talk about aks, versus ask, but I prefer this one because of Z's post above with the history of aks. A friend of mine was telling me that he was interviewing secretaries (or whatever they call them these days), and he absolutely couldn't hire one because she said, aks, instead of ask. I consider that racist - do you?
 
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quote:
I consider that racist - do you?

I consider it a sign of good breeding.


Give a man a fish and he can eat for one day; give a man a fishing pole and he will find an excuse to never work again.
Nollidj is power.
 
Posts: 5998 | Location: Rhode IslandReply With QuoteReport This Post
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http://web.archive.org/web/200....pperl?date=19991216

quote:
/aks/ is still found frequently in the South, and is a characteristic of some speech communities as far North as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Iowa. It is one of the shared characteristics between African-American English and Southern dialects of American English. The wide distribution of speakers from these two groups accounts for the presence of the /aks/ pronunciation in Northern urban communities.

So in fact, your colleague is correct in calling /aks/ a regional pronunciation, one with a distribution that covers nearly half of the territory in the United States and England.

 
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