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"Nickel striked or struck?"

September 25, 2019

Q. Which is correct?

Josh Dowie
- Exeter, England

September 2019

A. Hi Josh. This is a question of English grammar that would apply to anything, not just a description of a thin layer of nickel, but I am reading that "striked" is non-standard. So "struck" it is!

... unless we want to use "stricken", which sounds grammatically correct, but the connotation isn't ideal, since so many people have found themselves stricken with nickel allergies.

Personally I don't think that "We made sure your parts were stricken with nickel" has quite the right ring  :-)


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 14, 2020

A. Hello!

I saw this (looking for something else...!), and irregular verbs are an obsession of mine (one among many, LOL!!!)

"Strike" is an irregular verb, and it has the additional oddity of having two Past Participle forms, namely, "struck" and "stricken". I don't remember the formal rule, but I'm 99.6% certain that, when speaking of coins and other inanimate objects, the correct form would be "...your parts were struck from nickel".

If discussing living beings, I'm similarly sure that one would say, for example, "They were stricken by a mysterious illness", BUT "During the rock slide, he was struck by a chunk of quartz".

A few irregular verbs have that dual past participle, such as "bear; bore; was born/was borne", so the usage would be:
"She will bear a child", "She bore a child", "A child was born by her" - BUT! "the responsibility of raising the child was borne by her".

The record-holder for "most egregiously and horrendously abused irregular verb in English", though, is most probably the verb "sink", with "sing" coming in at a close second-place. Very simply, the form for present, past, and past passive, is:
"-in-" , "-ang", and "was -un-", to whit:
sing, sang, was sung
sink, sank, was sung
and just for good measure, we also have:
shrink, shrank, was shrunk
swim, swam, was swum.

Passive form: "That song was sung for many years before anyone made a recording of it."
Active form: "People sang that song for many years before anyone made a recording of it.

Passive: "The old ship was sunk by the Navy to act as the base for a new coral reef."
Active: "The Navy sank the old ship to act as the base for a new coral reef."

Passive: "The wrapping was shrunk by the hot air from the heat gun."
Active: "The wrapping shrank due to the hot air from the heat gun."

And so on. There are several irregular verbs that are too obscure for me to know the details of their usage, but I'll stop here for the sake of readers' sanity, LOL!

Kris Krieger
Hobbyist - Houston, Texas USA

February 2020

thumbs up sign  Thanks Kris! I hope you've had the chance to read Andrew McCall Smith's "Portugese Irregular Verbs", which has very little to do with irregular verbs, but a lot to do with the comic adventures of Professor Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld. It's my second favorite Smith series because nothing can top his "The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency".


pic of Ted Mooney
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Aloha -- an idea worth spreading
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 15, 2020

Oh my...I'm actually not at all one of the Literati, more like one of the Literidioti (BLUSH!), so I don't know Andrew McCall Smith's work at all...

Actually, reading is hard on my eyes, so when I do read, it's almost exclusively for information (blush again).

Kris Krieger [returning]
- Houston, Texas USA

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