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Past tense of "tag" = "tug"
Unusual verb conjugation
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
2012/12/13
11:40am
8uLiebr
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2012/12/13
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An elderly relative in central Pennsylvania used the word “tug” when recounting a baseball play he had seen on TV: A runner was on base when the batter hit a fly ball deep into the outfield. The runner waited for the ball to be caught. He tug up and ran to the next base.

I asked him about the word usage but he had never thought about it and couldn’t provide any information about how long he had used it, how common it was among his acquaintances, etc. Does anyone else have any experience with this or with similar conjugations?

2012/12/20
11:40am
New River, AZ, USA
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Hi 8uLieber, and welcome to the forum.

I grew up in Wisconsin and never heard that conjugation of “tag” before, but just to be sure I checked here: http://www.the-conjugation.com/english/verb/tag.php

Must be a regional thing, or maybe even baseball jargon? Not a baseball fan, so I wouldn’t know.

I have heard many other incorrectly conjugated verbs in somewhat frequent use: drag/drug, hang/hung, and lately think/thunk seems to be getting popular as in “who’d a thunk?” (though I’m not sure about the punctuation on that one).

I think what this might come down to is the fact that so many English verbs are correctly conjugated by replacing the existing vowel with “u” and some people never stop to check if that “rule” applies in specific cases.

[EDIT: I should add, for those learning the language, that hang/hung is correct for the act of suspending inanimate objects (like a hat or coat) from hooks and the like. But for capital punishment purposes, the conjugation is hang/hanged.]

 

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