English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

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Cowsham
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Cowsham » 20 Nov 2020, 7:18am

How the word 'read' is pronounced giving present ' Reed ' ' Reid ' past tense 'red' and similar words like that.

colin54
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby colin54 » 30 Nov 2020, 9:15pm

These two U.S english words grate on my ears when I read or hear them, one too short, the other too long.
I'll put them in a sentence. ' I loved that old Schwinn I had, it ....fit..... me like a glove said the ....bicyclist.....'
The word fit instead of fitted for the past tense just sounds weird to me, and bicyclist instead of cyclist just sound awkward, I don't recall hearing bicyclist used in a sentence in the UK.
Two countries separated by a common language...

Vorpal
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Vorpal » 1 Dec 2020, 8:19am

colin54 wrote:These two U.S english words grate on my ears when I read or hear them, one too short, the other too long.
I'll put them in a sentence. ' I loved that old Schwinn I had, it ....fit..... me like a glove said the ....bicyclist.....'
The word fit instead of fitted for the past tense just sounds weird to me, and bicyclist instead of cyclist just sound awkward, I don't recall hearing bicyclist used in a sentence in the UK.
Two countries separated by a common language...

Bicyclist was pushed by the likes of John Forrester and other vehicle cyclists. The common alternative is 'biker' which I like even less, but is coming into use in the UK and other English speaking countries.

Fit versus fitted used to be a class distinction in the USA, with academics and well-educated folks using 'fitted', while others considered 'fit' to be perfectly acceptable for the past tense. However, in many parts of the US, folks still use 'fitted' when using it as an adjective, or described when something is customised for someone, as in:
"The suit was fitted. It looked good; almost as if it were tailored."
"I had the bike fitted because I couldn't get the set-up right on my own."
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

colin54
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby colin54 » 1 Dec 2020, 9:02am

Thanks for the explanation Vorpal, interesting, nothing wrong with it of course, it just sounds foreign to my ears because it is !

Jdsk
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Jdsk » 1 Dec 2020, 11:04am

There are several short English verbs that sometimes feel as if they ought to have irregular past tense forms in the same way as sit/sat. I think that fit falls into that category. And fitted is a mechanically awkward word to say.

As is bicyclist. And then there's the human powered/ engine powered issue with both bike and biker.

Jonathan

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Vorpal » 1 Dec 2020, 11:35am

Jdsk wrote:There are several short English verbs that sometimes feel as if they ought to have irregular past tense forms in the same way as sit/sat. I think that fit falls into that category. And fitted is a mechanically awkward word to say.

As is bicyclist. And then there's the human powered/ engine powered issue with both bike and biker.

Jonathan

Maybe we should start using fat as the past tense for fit, as in "the new Shimano shifters fat my bike!" :wink:
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Jdsk
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Jdsk » 1 Dec 2020, 11:40am

Pinker is excellent on irregular verbs, including the addition of scientific psychological methods to traditional linguistics.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steven_Pinker

Christmas presents?

Jonathan

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Bmblbzzz » 1 Dec 2020, 11:47am

To me, it sounds more natural to use fitted as an adjective and fit as an irregular past tense if the meaning is 'to conform to the shape of a person or thing'. If the meaning is 'to insert or join' or 'to have a fit' then I'd use fitted.
'I put on my fitted suit after Christmas. It fit me in December but it didn't fit me in January!'
'I fitted the new bottom bracket yesterday.'
'I'm epileptic but I haven't fitted since I started new medication.'

Jdsk
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Jdsk » 1 Dec 2020, 11:56am

Bmblbzzz wrote:It fit me in December...

Exactly.

Bmblbzzz wrote:... but it didn't fit me in January!'

That one's Standard English!

Jonathan

Stevek76
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Stevek76 » 1 Dec 2020, 11:57am

I use fit for the past tense verb and fitted for the adjective. Fit seems wrong, but fitted seems... wronger... :D

If writing I'd probably just try to reword around the problem entirely.

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kylecycler
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby kylecycler » 1 Dec 2020, 12:06pm

I'm ok with bicyclist, even if it sounds old-fashioned, but 'biking' instead of 'cycling' jars with me - a 'biker' is a motorcyclist, right? Well, in the UK, anyway.

But curiously, 'cycle' instead of 'motorcycle' in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance also jars...

'At Red Lodge, the road’s almost joined to the base of the mountain. The dark ominous mass beyond dominates even the roofs of the buildings on either side of the main street. We park the cycles and unpack them to remove warm clothing. We walk past ski shops into a restaurant where we see on the walls huge photographs of the route we will take up. And up and up, over one of the highest paved roads in the world.'

I far prefer 'cyclery', though, to 'bike shop', as in Harris Cyclery, Sheldon Brown's old bike shop - 'cyclery' is cool, I think.

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kylecycler
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby kylecycler » 1 Dec 2020, 12:26pm

Cowsham wrote:How the word 'read' is pronounced giving present ' Reed ' ' Reid ' past tense 'red' and similar words like that.

That's the one that really bugs me - there's no past tense of 'read' and there should be, like 'led' being the past tense of 'lead', although 'led' is often misspelled 'lead' because the metal 'lead' is pronounced 'led'.

Jdsk
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Jdsk » 1 Dec 2020, 12:29pm

Yes, it often makes it necessary to check what might have been meant when you read read.

Jonathan

PS: But there is a past tense form... it's just written the same as the present tense form...

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kylecycler
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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby kylecycler » 1 Dec 2020, 12:33pm

Jdsk wrote:Yes, it often makes it necessary to check what might have been meant when you read read.

Jonathan

PS: But there is a past tense form... it's just written the same as the present tense form...

Yeah, and that's the problem! :)

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Re: English Language - what "Does your head in" ??

Postby Bmblbzzz » 1 Dec 2020, 12:33pm

kylecycler wrote:I far prefer 'cyclery', though, to 'bike shop', as in Harris Cyclery, Sheldon Brown's old bike shop - 'cyclery' is cool, I think.

But do you prefer to pronounce it 'cyc-luh-ry' or 'cyc-el-ry'? Or perhaps in some other fashion?