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He text me

15 replies

Oregghiette · 07/06/2020 20:02

If it's the past tense surely it's 'texted', yet I often see and hear 'text'?

It drives me crazy!

OP posts:
topcat2014 · 07/06/2020 20:06

He sent me a text.. surely

RedLemon · 07/06/2020 20:07

Yes, to me “texted” is better but the more digit-chomping “he sent me a text” is best😇

DadDadDad · 08/06/2020 11:26

“he sent me a text” is best

@RedLemon - I'm not sure I agree if you want to communicate efficiently. If you consider these two sentences...
he sent me to the doctor
he sent me a text
...the listener's / reader's brain has to hold open the possibility that me is the direct or indirect object until it hears the rest of the sentence, whereas he texted me... doesn't generate the same ambiguity - less cognitive work for your listener.

What I find interesting is why text is so common (even if it is an error) as the past tense of text. English speakers generally don't get regular past tenses wrong even if the verb is novel: when we started using google or whatsapp as verbs, we all would know that the past is googled and whatsapped. My half-baked theory is that the brain associates text with other short verbs that end in t which do not change in the past tense: cut, set, put,... - plus texted does seem a bit awkward to say.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, I just find it fascinating how new language use develops.

Iloveappleproducts · 08/06/2020 11:38

I say he text me for the past tense
I think it's actually acceptable

DadDadDad · 08/06/2020 12:06

That's interesting, @Iloveappleproducts. I have wondered if in time text will take over as the preferred past tense.

Oregghiette · 08/06/2020 18:01

Iloveappleproducts Why do you use 'text' rather than 'texted' for past tense? Isn't it, for example, the same as saying 'He ring me' rather than 'He rang me'?

OP posts:
Oregghiette · 08/06/2020 18:02

DadDadDad it won't catch on with me!

OP posts:
Oregghiette · 08/06/2020 18:09

I wonder if it is a colloquial or regional thing? The two people I know who say it are from North East UK.

OP posts:
daisypond · 08/06/2020 18:26

I’m bewildered by this too. I’m an editor and it’s texted. The dictionary says it is texted too. There are quite a few words that are the same in present and past tense- eg, cut, set - but we’re not there with text. I have wondered if it’s the T ending which makes it sound like an -ed past tense ending, especially with verbs with an S - missed, passed. But we don’t do it with, say, test. Or maybe some people do say test as a past tense form too.

Iloveappleproducts · 09/06/2020 04:56

Iloveappleproducts Why do you use 'text' rather than 'texted' for past tense? Isn't it, for example, the same as saying 'He ring me' rather than 'He rang me'?
Because texted is one of the clumsiest words for me to say or hear.
I know no-one who uses it ( except for people here)

VashtaNerada · 09/06/2020 05:09

I don’t think I’ve heard ‘text’ as past tense for a long time. Most people I know would say ‘texted’. I hope it doesn’t catch on! It certainly sounds like present tense to my ear.

TheCanterburyWhales · 17/06/2020 13:40

All new verbs have regular past tense endings, so yes, it's texted.
The reason "text" is mistakenly thought to be correct is because lots of old English derived verbs, especially one syllable and ending in "t" ones, have irregular past tenses.

MikeUniformMike · 07/07/2020 20:18

It's not just text.
I see things like "I am bias" on here. I despair.

SwedishEdith · 07/07/2020 20:21

Was going to say the 'bias'/'biased' thing as well. I just think it's hard for some to hear the 'ed' bit in those words so they think it is 'text' or 'bias'?

MikeUniformMike · 07/07/2020 20:39

It occurs with many verbs, and I think that they are not aware of tenses.
Use of predictive text and spellcheckers mean that the words get posted.

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