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lju-txaj-zox John Cowan <[log in to unmask]> tu-i pqoq:

>ObTrivia:  The rarest English irregular verb is believed to be "smite",
>preterite and past participle "smote", one in a million words.

What kind of corpus was that statistic derived from?  It seems
as though it would be fairly common in pseudo-archaic
writing (e.g. high fantasy) and almost nonexistent elsewhere.

>any of its relatives, not surprisingly.  Not counting the Latin and
>Greek borrowings with their attached plurals, English has only about

Many of these irregular plurals from Latin and Greek are disappearing.
Hardly anybody distinguishes datum/data anymore,
or uses "enigmata"; "stigmata" and others from that declension
seem to be disappearing too.

I don't think I've seen "boojum" pluralized "booja" recently, either.


- Jim Henry
http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry