Responding to Chris DeLeon’s recent letter (Feb. 10) informing “everyone” that the past tense of “text” is not “texted,” I’m not sure I agree. Prescribing how people are supposed to use speech, rather than describing how they actually use it, is a nervy game.
“Text” has only recently come to be used as a verb, so I would suggest its conjugation is not nearly as certain as Mr. DeLeon believes. He analogizes to the word “sent,” but obviously “sent” is the past tense form of “send” – quite different from “I text her yesterday,” which sounds profoundly odd to me.
I found this on a grammar blog: “The linguist Arnold Zwicky shed some light on ‘texted’ in a blog post he wrote on the subject in 2008. ‘The big point,’ Zwicky says in his article, ‘is that novel verbs – verbed nouns in particular – are almost invariably entirely regular in their inflection.’ Thus a noun like ‘text,’ when it becomes a verb, will ordinarily form its past tense and past participle with the addition of ‘-ed.’”
In my view (maybe I should say IMHO), the people vote with their phones, and I’m betting most people texted their decision long ago.
Douglas Gordon, Fresno