Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Why Do You Hate The Past Tense So Much?

(A few people still read my posts about spelling and grammar in the wrong voice. These are supposed to be funny, even if I do want to dive at you with four sets of claws out and teeth bared when you use an apostrophe to create a plural. If you don't find 'em funny - and useful at the same time - don't read 'em.)

OK, I know English is a very fucked up language. That's its beauty really. English dictionaries are bigger than all others because it's replete with synonyms. It has borrowed ( = stolen) words from many other languages, and so we can express ourselves with very little repetition. And it's an old language which has developed in a very quirky way, and it has been permitted to, so that in its modern form it has many irregularities.

This table demonstrates this very well:

verbpresent tensepast tensepast participlepresent participle
lay (to put down)laylaidlaidlaying
lie (to recline)lielaylainlying

Imagine coming across that for the first time as an ESL student. I think I'd run away screaming.

But as well as reminding us that if we lay on the table we should always pick the eggs up afterwards, it shows how you can't even trust endings to be consistent in the past tenses.

This is no excuse. 

Two of you regularly, and many more occasionally, are getting your present and past tenses muddled up. So, what, are you time travellers?

The typical past tense ending on regular verbs is -ed.


Watch, watched.
Kiss, kissed.
Poke, poked.

So why do you insist on saying:

"I use to!"
"You were suppose to..."

You mean used to and supposed to.

We also create some adjectives from the past tense of a verb. Sounds complicated? No, you do it all the time. Sometimes these too have -ed endings.

"He was exhausted."
"He was an exhausted man"

OK. You are quite familiar with this. If somebody said instead "He was an exhaust man" you'd laugh. That's wrong. You know this.

SO WHY DO YOU INSIST ON SAYING "That is a prejudice statement"?

You mean prejudiced.

But we're not done there, are we?

Oh no. When you create adjectives using the -ant ending you STILL fuck it up.

"He dominated"
"He was dominant"

So why do you say "he was dominate"?

Maybe you don't proofread. I forgive you, neither do I. My point is, after decades of using this, your NATIVE language, you shouldn't be making these BASIC errors in the first place, right?

I have resisted correcting these (and all others) oopsies in the past, because I'm tolerant (not tolerate!) but I have a new graphic......

And I'm not afraid to use it........

1 comment:

  1. Honk away, I say. :) No doubt the neighbors will be hearing a lot of noise. I may even hear the echoes from here. ;) ~ Blessings! :)