Creative Scriptwriting and Copywriting

Who wants to marry a millionaire?

In copywriting, scriptwriting, writing on February 17, 2010 at 7:18 pm

Ashley Cole was a merry old soul...

Interesting comments section in this article from The Guardian (“Why do women want to be WAGs?”).

Not about the article itself, mind. I can think of plenty of reasons why a glamorous woman might want to associate herself with a glamorous footballer. Over a hundred thousand reasons a week if he’s at the top of the Premier League.

No, what attracted my attention as a writer was Comment No. 6, and the subsequent replies:

Disappointed to see the Guardian favours ‘texted’. Surely it’s just ‘text’.

No, no, no!

This is one that sets my teeth on edge far more than anything that emanates from Ashley Cole’s underpants.

Personally, I’m quite happy with the verb “to text.”

I know some more pedantic copywriters don’t even like that, preferring “to send a text”. (Pedantic copywriters being, of course, the ones that don’t agree with me.)

But I really have a problem with irregular conjugation “I text him”, “He text me”. Every time I hear it, and I hear it a lot, I can’t help but add the “-ed” on the end. Mostly, but not always, under my breath.

“I texted him.” “He texted me.” It’s not that difficult, is it? Texted seems far more logical to me, even if logic and language very rarely go together.

Now, I’m a firm believer that living English is shaped by usage. There’s no consistent right and wrong over time.

And that has to be true if you’re writing characters, where you have to be true to their individual voices, even if they offend the linguistic pixie at the back of your brain.

But I think we’re still at the indeterminate stage with this word. Text or texted is still in flux. So, for now, I’m sticking solidly to texted. And if I have to use the formation “he text me” at all, I’ll make sure I only put it into the mouths of unsympathetic idiot characters.

Like cheating footballers and their WAGs.

  1. “Text” as a past participle *sounds* as if it should be right, but only if it’s actually spelled “texed”, and the infinitive is “to tex” or “to texe”. (cf “Ashley Cole was axed from the England team.”) People who used “text” in this sense probably also confuse “have” and “of” (“Cheryl should of dumped him years ago”) and as such should be taken out and shot.

  2. Exactly how long have you been in Thailand, Tim..??

    Actually, shooting is possibly too good for them. Also, my wife uses “He text me” and shooting her would cause no end of arguments around the house.

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