Weird English

In this review of Arika Okrent’s book, titled “Highly Irregular,” Michael Rosen reiterates the weirdness of the English language. One prime example is the extent to which the past tenses of common verbs vary. Citing Okrent’s explanation, Rosen restates that the past tense’s approach in Old English, which is adding -d or -ed to verbs, mostly displaced the original forms. However, English words that we use frequently resisted this standardisation. For instance, “eating” and “taking” become “ate” and “took” as opposed to “eated” and “taked”. Read full article here


The occasional email full of conversation-worthy content