[Marxism] Schoolmarm grammar

Michael Smith mjs at smithbowen.net
Mon Dec 31 10:26:33 MST 2012

On Mon, 31 Dec 2012 08:42:26 +0100
Einde O'Callaghan <eindeoc at freenet.de> wrote:
> > I shit today.
> > I shit yesterday.
> >
> In Ireland the most common form of the infinitive is "to shite" although 
> probably more common is "to have a shite" - the past tense being "had a 
> shite".

'Shite' is more etymological than short-i 'shit': the verb has a long vowel
in the present tense in Anglo-Saxon, which 'shite' faithfully reflects. 

Now that you mention it, I have heard the preterite 'shit' as well 
as 'shat', though less commonly. Maybe it got remodelled on the analogy 
of weak verbs with final 't', like 'knit'. Alternatively, the past participle
in A-S has a short vowel (regular in this class of strong verbs) and 
that might have affected the preterite too. 

In A-S the verb is spelled 'scitan' (which a length mark over the 
i which doesn't come reliably through email), prounced 'sheetan'. 
The preterite is 'scat', pronounced 'scat' -- the 'c' stays hard before 
a back vowel, and no smutty puns here, please. This word survives 
in Mod-E in just that form -- we use it for a wild animal's droppings 
out in the woods.  


Michael J. Smith
mjs at smithbowen.net


Favorite political slogan from the 60s: 


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