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Irregular verbs
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I happened to run across the word larruped this morning, and as it was unfamiliar to me, I looked it up.  That s the proper spelling, it appears, rather than larrupped

I learned centuries ago that if a regular verb ends in a single short vowel followed by a single consonant (other than W or Y), one forms the past tense by doubling the consonant and adding ed.  That rule is why so many pedants gagged at the AP Styleboook declaring the past tense of bus to be bused.

But About.com declares there to be fewer than 200 irregular verbs, and it itemizes them – omitting larrup from the list.  How many irregular verbs are there? 

Or is the very notion of “regular verb” a Through The Looking Glass notion, with the red queen saying, “It’s always done this way unless it isn’t, and I’m not going to tell you when, but off with your head if you get it wrong”?

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I guess since you learned the rule centuries ago you must have forgotten the last part.  If a two syllable word has the accent on the first syllable, the final consonant is not doubled.  examples are: listen, happen, visit, exit, and larrup.  They are all regular verbs because they add ed to form past tense.

Bused surprised me, too, but the AP is not the only ones to proclaim it that way.  I figure they made it like that because there is another word, buss, that also needs a past tense and they could become confused.

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The stress on the final root syllable is a good guideline, but falls short of a rule. There is the odd case of the traveled variant travelled can be attributed to the verb’s historical relationship to travail / travailled, which has its stress on the final root syllable. As for the penciled variant of pencilled, don’t ask me.

Also consider reverse counter-examples:

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I’ve been checking ESL sites, and i can’t find anything that says the rules vary between monosyllable and polysyllable words.  The number one hit in Google http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/330/grammar/pasted.htm simply says if a verb ends in a vowel and a consonant, double the consonant and add ed.  The About page, http://grammar.about.com/od/correctingerrors/a/regtensepast.htm says the verb ends in consonant-y, you replace y with i, and add ed; the uvic page just says y, whether ornot it’s preceded by a consonant.  And uvic says you don’t double w, and about says nothing about that.

About doesn’t indicate that you ever double the trailing consonant.

The word “recap” may properly be pronounced with the stress on either syllable, and some people use both pronunciations, depending on whether they are debriefing or they are avoiding spillage of the shampoo.  The P gets doubled in either case.

Panel is stressed on the first syllable, but you panelled the den.

I think the whole regular/irregular notion is rather bankrupt.

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