Print

Print


On Wed, Sep 01, 2004 at 03:39:50PM -0400, David Peterson wrote:
>    In one of the classes I TA'd for a list of the rarest irregular verbs in
Some words seem to have disappeared there, David. :)

>    English.  I can't remember a lot of them, and when I find the handout,
>    I'll post some, but one I *do* remember is "beshit" (whose past tense
>    is formed with an "a").  Certainly that one won't be in the Bible and is
>    probably *much* rarer than "to smite", which is now, I'd argue, quite
>    frequently used for its humor value (i.e., it's archaic, and therefore
>    funny).

I quite agree.  There was a cartoon (Far Side, maybe?) featuring God at
his computer, watching a mortal on the monitor with his finger hovering
over the "Smite" button.  The past participle is definitely "smitten" even
in Leftpondia, and it shows up quite frequently in, e.g., recent
romantic comedy motion pictures (semi-ironic/sarcastic "I/you have been
smitten!", with regard to falling in love).  I've never encountered
"have smote" and would rule it an error.

If I were a prescriptivist.

Which of course I'm not.

Ahem.

-Marcos