I have an elderly relative who says this, but I put it down to them growing up in an age before mobiles. Then I heard it on TV; in the drama series The Girl Before to be specific, and again today on the radio. It’s taking hold. What is it? The phenomenon of texed.

You can see how it happens: as the word text morphs from a noun into a verb it begins to sound like a past tense in itself: you have to stop and think in order to realise that the past tense is actually texted. But it sounds clumsy so instead people say he text me or he texed me, which isn’t actually a word. How would you write it?

The Girl Before is an excellent drama a little reminiscent of The Draughtsman’s Contract. A paranoid and deeply controlling architect designs an extraordinary house. In the process his wife and child die. Is it an accident? Did he kill them? And is he responsible for what happened to the girl before? His latest tenant tries to find out and nearly loses her life in the process. Fascinating stuff.

Alas, the same cannot be said of A Very British Scandal, the story of how the Duchess of Argyll was hung out to dry for doing the exact things her husband was guilty of. But in order to care I’d have to be interested in the characters and after half an hour in the company of the most boring and self-absorbed people I’d ever come across, I switched it off and watched the Christmas University Challenge instead.

Kirk out

3 thoughts on “Texed?

  1. This text/texed idiom is one which annoys me significantly, as a self-confessed grammar pedant. I try to be charitable, and put it down to parents & schools not instilling a love of language, and a pride in its use, in children. When did it become de rigeur not to correct children’s incorrect speech? [and don’t get me started on v for th: that’s a speech impediment which could so easily be corrected] If it was in the ‘liberal’ and ‘anything goes’ 1960s, then this aspect missed me, thank my father and a decent school [otherwise, I was a hippie]; chaotic school curricula is a subject I’d probably best leave alone……. I don’t want everyone to speak like Richard Dimbleby, but correct grammar & decent enunciation isn’t too much to ask, is it? Cheers, Jon.

  2. If I ever said it or wrote it, which would be rare, it must surely be ‘Texted’.
    (I think I would say he/she sent me a text.)
    I like ‘The Girl Before’ a lot, but as ‘The Draughtsman’s Contract’ is one of my top-ten films of all time, I cannot compare the drama series to it in any respect.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. I say “texted”, but a lot of people say “texed” (but would presumably write “texted”).

    It’s like sixth. I say “sixth”, but a lot of people say “sickth”.

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