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"I am Jacob." "Und I am Wilhelm." "Und ve just vant to pump... (clap) ...YOU UP!"
October 31, 2012 11:38 AM   Subscribe

Some are strong, and some are weak. The weak, as is well known, are easily mastered—completely regular and, frankly, pathetic. But it doesn't have to be that way! The Society for the Strengthening of Verbs labors at its noble cause of strengthening verbs and nouns (in English too, though with less Sprachgefühl), increasing the stock of causatives, and generally messing around with German (excuse me, with Neutsch).
posted by kenko (29 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ha, from the English list are some that I've heard spoken in life:
reach raught raught
seep sept sept
Moreover, no "bring, brang, brung"? "Sell, selt" or "tell, telt"? You hear funny things out of folks mouths sometimes.
posted by Jehan at 11:52 AM on October 31, 2012


No quit/quat or submit/submat, no dine/done (rhymes with "stone").
posted by kenko at 11:57 AM on October 31, 2012


"Calculaught." Lo, I am ruptured.
posted by Nomyte at 12:00 PM on October 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's funny too that some of the English ones are real etymologically connected forms, packaged up as though they were newly coined nonsense words (e.g. "behove"). Still, I'll read the list over later for more fun, once I have prunt it out (brought to you by Sprünt).

As far as the German part, my linguistic skills aren't quite up to the task of finding Neutsch hilarious rather than extremely confusing — so I thank you for providing me with a newfound understanding of how non-native speakers must feel when they read Lewis Carroll. Understanding a language's nonsense is a pretty interesting test of fluency, in fact.
posted by RogerB at 12:03 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Nothing unfriends my angriness like a weak verb or noun.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:04 PM on October 31, 2012


What, no "froke"? (As in "I froke out when I realized what a clusterfuck BART was going to be this morning because of the parade, so I walked four miles to work.")
posted by madcaptenor at 12:53 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Long ago in our middle school years, my cousin was making fun of my grandma for saying she was going to "warsh" the clothes. My grandma defended "warsh" by explaining, "It's 'warsh' because you are washing more than one thing."

We both cracked up laughing. Sorry, Grandma! I am now a Linguistic Descriptivist, not a Prescriptivist.
posted by shortyJBot at 1:24 PM on October 31, 2012


What is this 'walked'? I assume you mean welk.
posted by Mister_A at 1:26 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Biked --> Boke

As in, "I boke to work this morning."
posted by deathpanels at 1:35 PM on October 31, 2012


My main concern is with a single alleged adjective: "impactful."
posted by Ironmouth at 2:00 PM on October 31, 2012


'Resiliency' and all its friends and relations must die.
posted by unSane at 2:32 PM on October 31, 2012


It seems like some of you might not have fully comprehone what the post is about. It's not just a list of disloke words — they've chung the actual word forms.
posted by RogerB at 2:58 PM on October 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


And done so with a lot of creativity and rigor (but not too much: "Dass sengen sprachgeschichtlich des Singens Kausativ sei, ist nicht bewiesen, wenn nicht sogar widerlegt. Es ist aber trotzdem eine schöne Vorstellung, dass das Zum-Zischen-Bringen durch Ankokeln eine Form von Zum-Singen-Bringen sei."*). They may be in favor of saving the genitive along with many Germanic language grumps, but grumping about language isn't the aim of the site. Playing with language is.


* which my none too excellent German Englishes thus: "That 'singe' is, etymologically, the causative of 'sing' is not proven, though also not refuted either. It is nevertheless nice to think that making something sizzle by igniting it ["through ignition" would be very Germanic, here] is a form of making it sing."
posted by kenko at 3:17 PM on October 31, 2012


"Resiliency", incidentally, has been around since the 1650s, translating postclassical Latin "resilientia". "Resilient" is attested only a little bit earlier (1640s); the much uglier to my ears "resilience" is attested in 1626.
posted by kenko at 3:20 PM on October 31, 2012


Oh please, German is confusing enough as it is with its 16 forms of "the" and its exceptions to every rule. Please, no more verbs that turn into transformers when put in the (two forms of) past tense or the other three forms of present tense.

I'd support a club based on the weakening and regularization of all verbs. Verb equality, if you will.
posted by sixohsix at 4:22 PM on October 31, 2012


skim - skam - skum

I really did hear "skun" (as in, "I fell off my bike and skun my knees") often enough where I grew up. (More than often enough, really.)
posted by Wolfdog at 4:27 PM on October 31, 2012


I love this, especially the term "Nittelhochmeutsch". But my ever-weakening grasp of German makes me afraid to read it too deeply. Their new "rules" could quite easily wipe out my memory of the actual rules.

As for weak vs. strong verbs, aren't they swimming against the tide of history? I thought strong verbs were generally older ones, and newer words tend to default to being weak.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:31 PM on October 31, 2012


It's the -ency ending I deprecate. -ence is much nicer. Saves a syllable. Time's short. Must fly.
posted by unSane at 5:07 PM on October 31, 2012


(we talk about silence, not silency, and licence, not licency)
posted by unSane at 5:09 PM on October 31, 2012


The adequacy of your argument is indisputable.
posted by kenko at 5:15 PM on October 31, 2012


I find, having consulted /usr/shared/dict/words with the aid of grep, that they in fact have an unsurpassed sufficiency, and you exhibit great proficiency in making them; you would be within your rights to argue against me with all the stringency you can muster and to show me no leniency. Argue, further, with dispatch and efficiency: allow me no longer to hold tenancy of untruth! (Rather, there should be a vacancy in those lands, in which no one should take up residency.) This is a matter of great urgency! Do not limit the cogency of your attack because my literacy is evidently still in its infancy (a fact which is quite obviously an irrelevancy); the exigency of my understanding, my deficiency of fluency, is my own doing, and deserves to fall before your potency.

Etc.
posted by kenko at 5:35 PM on October 31, 2012


Yes, and you sound like you're broadcasting direct from the 18th century. Huzzah!
posted by unSane at 5:55 PM on October 31, 2012


As for weak vs. strong verbs, aren't they swimming against the tide of history? I thought strong verbs were generally older ones, and newer words tend to default to being weak.

It seems more likely that it's old, but frequently-used verbs that tend not to "weaken" (search for "less-commonly" in this story.
posted by uosuaq at 5:56 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Really? You'd prefer "urgence", "infance", "proficience"?
posted by kenko at 6:33 PM on October 31, 2012


As for weak vs. strong verbs, aren't they swimming against the tide of history? I thought strong verbs were generally older ones, and newer words tend to default to being weak.

backen is clinging on for dear life, which amuses me. I'm completely blanking on a German example of a formerly strong verb. It may just be that backen is the example everyone uses.

Part of me wonders whether I should feel cheated that no one talks about verb classes when teaching German because there's totally a system and I never noticed it when staring at the list of strong verbs in the back of every Germany textbook ever. Of course, that would involve a table and, as evidenced by the response to any mention of German grammar, the fact that nouns (well, articles, mostly) decline is apparently way too taxing. Then again, I learned about verb classes taking Middle High German, so I'm probably not normal.
posted by hoyland at 7:43 PM on October 31, 2012


As for weak vs. strong verbs, aren't they swimming against the tide of history? I thought strong verbs were generally older ones, and newer words tend to default to being weak.

Actually we can see that some old weak verbs are strengthening by analogy if they are phonetically similar to common strong verbs. Dove as the past tense of dive is relatively new, for instance -- the "correct" form has always been dived.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 7:48 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Really? You'd prefer "urgence", "infance", "proficience"?

Merce! Merce, I can take no more!
posted by BinGregory at 8:31 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Part of me wonders whether I should feel cheated that no one talks about verb classes when teaching German because there's totally a system

My teachers did! And the lists of strong verbs were even divided up by paradigm.
posted by kenko at 9:42 PM on October 31, 2012


This is totally and absolutely something I can get behind for English- and can we please bring back grammatical gender and case while we're at it?
posted by dunkadunc at 9:07 PM on November 4, 2012


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