Talk:prank

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Tea room discussionEdit

Note: the below discussion was moved from the Wiktionary:Tea room.


The quotation by Dante Gabriel Rossetti shows clear-cut the form prankt as past participle as does “prankt” in An American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster, 1828.. However, in Webster 1913 and the subsequent edition MW online I could not find this form. Could anyone check OED for it and ascertain whether it is dated, archaic, poetic or not? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 09:12, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

  • I'd have thought it a Websterism that never took off, were it not for the fact that it occurs in The Castle of Indolence (in Canto I verse 2) by James Thomson — 10 years before Webster was even born. He uses it as a synonym for adorned or perhaps coloured. Uncle G 12:09, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
    Well, it occurs in Rossetti's writings as well, but the quæstion is to what extent this form is common in contemporary English. Is it tagged by the OED as dated, poetic or not? Is it used oftentimes by native English speakers in their writings, when they want to express the words adorned, embellished with a synonym? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 09:02, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    Truth be told, in the English I speak (Midwestern US), prank isn't really used as a verb at all. I would say "he pulled a prank on her," instead of "he pranked her." No idea if this helps at all. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 09:15, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • It's definitely still in use. Remember the infamous Canadian radio DJ who rang Sarah Palin pretending to be Nicolas Sarkozy? The conversation included the following exchange:
    Marc-Antoine Audette: I really loved you and I must say something also, governor, you've been pranked by the Masked Avengers. We are two comedians from Montreal.
    Palin: Oh, have we been pranked? And what radio station is this? (here; there are plenty of other hits in newspapers.) Ƿidsiþ 09:22, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    Well, but mine intention was not to quæstion the existence of the verb, but instead to ask whether this particular form - prankt should be marked with some kind of tag, if it is added to the inflection template of the verb next to pranked. Webster 1828 does not use any tag soever, but I am interested in modern authoritative dictionaries such as OED. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 10:04, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
  • Oh OK, yes, the -t spelling is now obsolete. Ƿidsiþ 11:02, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    But I intend to add this nice form with the respective tag, so that the quotation by D G Rossetti does not seem to use a form which is missing in the template. It is obsolete according to OED, right? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 11:16, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    This is strange - 1880 (quotation) is not too distant in the past and if the form was in the vivid language then, to become obsolete for less than 130 years... I have always imagined obsolete as something which is not in use for at least 200 years, id est before Emperor Napoléon. If OED lists it as obsolete and if obsolete æquals not used for only 100 years, then what are we supposed to do with the y- participles, which have not been used for 300 years? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 11:23, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
    Obsolete means it's not used anymore. Archaic means it is sometimes used for deliberate effect, and you could call this archaic I guess. The OED doesn't comment on prankt specifically, but in discussing -ed, it says the following: ‘From 16th to 18th c[enturies] the suffix, when following a voiceless cons[onant] (preceded by a cons[onant] or a short vowel), was often written -t, in accordance with the pronunc[iation], as in jumpt, whipt, stept. This is still practised by some writers, but is not now in general use. Where, however, a long vowel in the v[er]b-stem is shortened in the p[artici]ple, as in crept, slept, the spelling with -t is universal. Some pples. have a twofold spelling, according as the vowel is shortened or not in pronunc.; e.g. leapt (/lɛpt/), and leaped (/liːpt/).’ All of which seems pertinent. Ƿidsiþ 11:29, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
Last modified on 15 September 2012, at 15:57