Friday, 25 June 2010

Whimsies


A correspondent has asked me to give the final, definitive, Ex Cathedra pontification on snuck as a past participle of sneak. The subject has, it seems, been much argued on the Internet: here and here.

I know an answer to this insoluble question, but I won't tell the world what it is unless the world first does something for me. Here are my three demands and none are negotiable:

1) The plural of mongoose shall be mongeese. I care for neither dictionary nor derivation. They are mongeese.

2) The past participle of fit shall be fat, following the hallowed pattern of sit/sat and shit/shat.

3) The plural of toothbrush shall be toothbri. I don't know why, in fact I hate Latin pluralisations. Perhaps I feel that it should be teethbrushes, senseless though that may be. Mrs Malaprop suggests toothbroi and I would be willing to compromise. But I abhor toothbrushes.

Once my three whimsies are acceded to by all speakers of English, I shall reveal the terrible truth of snuck.

Mongeese

P.S. This from New Orleans in 1887: "He grubbed ten dollars from de bums an den snuck home."

4 comments:

  1. It's always bothered me that the plural of "smurf" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Smurfs) is not smurves.

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  2. Mongoose/geese and fit/fat I'll go with, but for toothbrush I'd prefer teethbri, as the original word ought to have been teethbrush for everyone but very young babies who only have one tooth.

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  3. The Antipodean26 June 2010 10:34

    What are baby mongeese (j'adore!) called?

    And, for the record, I prefer snuck and think I use it in spoken language, but can't recall a requirement to write either snuck or sneaked in, well, anything.

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  4. As long as you don't EVER use squoze instead of squeezed. (It's fairly common here and makes me shiver with dismay.)

    Dirty and squeeze are two words destined to become extinct - according to an article in The Times last October. Which will put a lot of sex line operators onto the ever-increasing unemployment register...

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