Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The strongification movement

A set of Wisconsin students have announced to me and probably others that they're starting a movement to make English weak verbs strong. They're calling this strongification (a word which shows up on google once for verbs) or, alternatively, verbal fortition.

Now, I'm not hearing them change their actual usage yet, but on Wednesday, one of them said basically this before class started:
I heard somebody say fitted for the past tense of fit. I was thinking, you know, fat would sound so much better.
That actually does kind of work.

Image of Charles Atlas from here.


Jon Boy said...

I had a coworker who once said "I totally froke out" (instead of the usual "freaked out") without thinking about it. I almost failed to notice it, too, but it registered after a second. I have to say that I like it.

Richard Hershberger said...

I also enjoy expanding the -en suffix, as in "I haven't boughten the eggs yet, but I will on my way home."

Anonymous said...

I've heard a number of people say, "it's been broughten up before" in different contexts...

Anonymous said...

Those -en forms are pretty clearly regional, I think. But they're good.

Joe said...

Thanks, folks. I swear I half-heard a strongified form on NPR this morning but it was before I'd had coffee.

TootsNYC said...

sit, sat
fit, fat
Makes sense.

Or, the one I do without even intending to:
drive, drove
arrive, arrove
"We arrove yesterday"--I've used this non-verb many times without even realizing it.

Seek, sought
freak, frought

"We even sweeped," our college yearbook editor once said, earning her a spot on the "quote board." It took me awhile to figure out that it was wrong.

Mr. Verb said...

I think you've got it right: There's a lot of this out there in casual speech. I might not blink at 'arrove', in fact.