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Yet Another Pointless Rumination

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TANSTAAFL

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So, the other day, Val asks me an obscure question about the english language. This is a normal occurence, as I get obscure questions from a number of people about a number of esoteric topics.

This question was simple: "What is the difference between 'struck' and 'stricken'?"

She was speaking, of course, about the verb form of 'stricken'. Since I couldn't immediately come up with the answer, I did some digging. In doing so, I discovered that 'stricken' is slowly disappearing from the language and we are in the midst of it. Such is life when you speak a living language.

'Struck' is the simple past form of 'to strike'. 'Stricken' is the past participle form of 'to strike'. However, it is also acceptable to use 'struck' where one should normally use 'stricken', and in some cases, one 'sounds better' than the other, or at least to my ear.

Since we have a lovely irregular verb here, it is best to compare it to another, similarly irregular verb: 'to eat'.

Anywhere the word 'eat' can go, 'strike' can go. Yeah, forget about the sentence actually making any sense. Similarly, you can replace 'ate' with 'struck' and 'eaten' with 'stricken'.

So take the sentence:

'She has been eaten by a bear.'

and replace 'bear' with 'car' and 'eaten' with 'stricken':

'She has been stricken by a car.'

Doesn't sound right, really, but the following does sound ok:

'She has been stricken by lightning.'

although in this case, 'She has been struck by lightning.' also sounds just fine

As an adjective, though, 'stricken' still enjoys some use, like 'terror-stricken' or 'panic-stricken', although the words 'terror-struck' and 'panic-struck' also a sound just fine.

So, apparently the word 'stricken' is going the way of "thee" and "thou".

One place where stricken is still used is in conjuction with diseases ("she has been stricken by the flu.") or other ailments ("she has been stricken blind").

I propose that we all simply take the irregular english verbs and stop using them irregularly. While we're at it, make the irregular plurals(oxen,data,fish,men) into regular plurals (oxes, datums, fishes,mans). Furthermore, ditch non phonic spellings.

Sure, we'll all sound like idiots for a few months, but afterwards, it'll all sound normal.

And maybe we can get rid of the plural/singular verb/noun agreement thing? This wuud bee nais.
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I've never known anyone be 'stricken' by lightning. Must be some fancy lightning. People often get struck by lightning, although it rarely strikes where it struck before.

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