Strong Verb

‘WOKEN’, Old English still pulses in your shift from ‘wake’,
SCALE of inflection makes you a relic among verbs.
BLUFF their way past you, modern speakers do,
FLING ‘awakened’ about, steer clear of queasy changes in the stem.


  1. I feel this in my bones. I don’t think I’ve ever been confident in which form of woke/woken/awake/awaken/awoken I’m supposed to use in any given context.

    1. It’s such a strong loss of “sense” (the vowel shift just doesn’t make sense to us anymore–especially speakers of US English). Every time I have occasion to say the past of dive, I hesitate. Something in me remembers there was “dove”, but then we are in the process of converted to “dived”.

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