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slinked vs. slunk

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slinked vs. slunk

Postby Brazilian dude » Wed Feb 23, 2005 4:39 pm

The other day I was watching Love Actually when the word slinked struck (or is it stricked :) me?), I had never heard it before and I took it as a mistake for the good slunk. Yesterday browing my dictionary for something else, I stumbled on slink, whose past and past participle, according to the dictionary, were slunk, but also slinked. Knowing it as I do, the also after it means that many people still disapprove it, regardless of its use by some. Google has 27300 hits for slinked and slunk 118000. See what this site http://www.bartleby.com/68/47/5547.html has to say about it.

I personally don't like it. I'll stick to my slunk, which is what I learned when I had to learn that long list of irregular verbs (begin, began, begun; become, became, become) even though some people start saying beginned, becomed, grinded and the like.

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Postby tcward » Wed Feb 23, 2005 4:52 pm

I, for one, like slinked. "Slunk" sounds silly.

But I also like snuck... "Sneaked" sounds too open and transparent for that type of activity.

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Postby Brazilian dude » Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:02 pm

Oddly enough, I also prefer snuck. Go figure!

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Postby Garzo » Thu Feb 24, 2005 10:12 am

I have the general feeling that snuck is generally considered to be US English over here. I cannot recall ever having to figure out what the past form of slink is: is my life that uninteresting? BY the way, as some irregular verbs in English use different forms for the past tense and past participle, is the past participle of slink different?
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slinked

Postby KatyBr » Thu Feb 24, 2005 11:08 am

snuck is the word of choice for those who mean slinked but are unaware of it's existance.

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slinked is what my dog did when, knowing it was forbidden, she crept out of the yard, thru' the garage door and out the front, looking back and waiting for the ,"Bad dog! you get back here!" she didn't get more than a few feet out the door.
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Postby Brazilian dude » Thu Feb 24, 2005 11:52 am

No, the past and the past participle are the same, slung (or slinged if you prefer), just like lead - led - led, shine - shone, shone (also shined, but that's a different story, unless told otherwise), and many others.

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Postby anders » Thu Feb 24, 2005 6:42 pm

I never understood why, but I like the strong forms in Swedish, and try to maintain species that are threatened by extinction. One example coming to my mind is "simma, sam, summit" instead of "simma, simmade, simmat" for "swin, swam, swum". If I had been a German, I would have been a member of Gesellschaft zur Stärkung der Verben.
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Postby Spiff » Fri Feb 25, 2005 5:32 am

Replace "Swedish" by "Dutch" and I'm totally on your side, anders. :)
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Postby M. Henri Day » Fri Feb 25, 2005 12:08 pm

anders wrote:I never understood why, but I like the strong forms in Swedish, and try to maintain species that are threatened by extinction.

My guess is that the reason (in my case at least - I can't speak for Anders), is that having expended considerable effort to learn the disparate (not to say desperate) forms of the strong verbs, one is not enchanted by the prospect of all that labour becoming vain (in psychology this phenomenon is termed «cognitive dissonance»). But we strong-verbers are, I fear, fighting a lost battle, just as those of us who fight to retain the oblique case in English pronouns are now regarded as «quaint», as if we were a paragraph of the Geneva conventions. Small children tend, in speaking their native languages, to regularise and simplify both phonetics and morphology, and were it not for the efforts of countless schoolteachers, many of the weird features which we oddballs love would have disappeared long ago. The only redeeming feature is that new ones always come along, but that comfort is cold at best, as then, not having grown up with them, we almost always dislike them....

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Postby Apoclima » Fri Feb 25, 2005 11:42 pm

Henri, how endearingly sentimental! Very true and very sweet, indeed!

Languages: Old English : slincan

What happened to "slank?"

I use "slunk" like the poor ol' celto-saxon that I am who can't even bring himself to capitalize the tribal names of his ancestors.

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