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I don't see why. Other languages have no problem with ... English is, as we all know, already far from phonetic.

Just out of curiosity...which languages are you thinking of?

Well, the obvious are languages that have different literary and spoken standards, such as German, Arabic and Greek.

More interestingly, how about Albanian? It has two major dialects and is written in neither, but rather in a hybrid that no one actually speaks.
Okay, I cheated. These languages can all be read out without problems, even though they are not actually spoken as such.
How about Dutch? Danish? Malagasy? These are in descending order of pronounceability by rule.
Japanese. I'm not sure of the detail, but I know that (some?) kanji can be read Japanese-style or Chinese-style, with a corresponding difference in meaning.
The history of Turkish might interest you. Nowadays, Turkish is written in a modified Roman alphabet and is largely, but not completely, phonetic. However, it used to be written in Arabic letters, which were very ill suited to the task, and what was worse, I believe that vowels were not marked. Turkish was written with hundreds of letters. One of the first reforms of Ataturk was to put that right!

I believe Hebrew had to settle on two spelling systems much like Greek because of lack of agreement on how to spell words!
Out of the few languages I have slightly more than a just passing intellectual familiarity (does not mean "ability to speak/understand") with, French is about the only language that comes close to matching English in lack of phoneticity.

This is probably because the other Romance languages are very faithfully phonetic (those that are written). I once read also that Polish children did not have spelling bees because their language is so absolutely phonetic (although there are actually some issues even in Polish).
This latter should not be surprising, though. Even very closely phonetic orthographies have their quirks. Korean boasts that it has the world's most phonetic orthography in hangul but I speak no Korean and couldn't say whether it's true.
Zen
Well, google.co.uk will let you search webpages from the UK ... it gives: didn't use to 593 didn't used to 2140

This should motivate UK educators to ask themselves how they have failed. Somewhere along the line they should have taught their students that "didn't wanted to", "didn't needed to", "didn't had to", and "didn't used to" are not grammatically sound.[/nq]I'm afraid I'm going to have to demand that you show why "didn't used to" isn't "grammatically" sound. We have already ascertained that there is no verb "to use to" for "used to" to be the past participle of, so we cannot analyse it that way. When you have done so, perhaps you will entertain us with a description of "kemping" hair, how you "gruntle" etc etc. It's a fossil word. It has no family, does not fit a scheme and need not feel it has to obey some fusty old rules.

It has been set free and now it can roam unmolested, snuffling in the undergrowth of the past tense, never worrying the present and most definitely not intruding on the future. It will do so in the happy company of "went", whose verb likewise, upped and, erm, went, although it didn't die so much as lose interest and find a new partner.

Zen
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I'm afraid I'm going to have to demand that you show why "didn't used to" isn't "grammatically" sound. We have ... verb likewise, upped and, erm, went, although it didn't die so much as lose interest and find a new partner.

Can't agree with that, however poetical. "Use" in the sense of "be accustomed" is a defective verb, only current in the preterite and infinitive. "Go" is also defective, in that its preterite is supplied by the verb "wend". "Wend" isn't erm gone yet, although getting stiff in the mornings.
I think that's the scheme you were looking for. Does it apply only to written English? OK. In speech, both forms of "use to" are /[email protected]/. But written is what we're using here. Is spoken language primary, written secondary? Sure. And fingers were made before forks; but not your fingers, as old Ma would always say at that point in the ritual exchange. Traditional grammar is the mould written English grew up in. Toss it away and you lose a whole dimension from your understanding .

Maybe all this stuff is getting pretty stiff too; but, for people who forget it entirely, the language is going to be a lot less interesting a game. Also AUE . CDB
I'm afraid I'm going to have to demand that you show why "didn't used to" isn't "grammatically" sound.

It 's so obvious that it needs no demonstration.
We have already ascertained that there is no verb "to use to" for "used to" to be the past participle of,

Like hell we have. "Use to" is not a verb. "Use" in the sense "be accustomed" is a verb, and it has the past participle and preterit "used" ; "to" is a particle that goes with a following infinitive. "Use to" is no more a verb than are "want to", "have to", "need to", "try to", "come to", "go to", and "ought to".
so we cannot analyse it that way.

Of course we can't analyze it that way, if by "that way" you mean starting with the absurd assumption that "use to" is a verb..
When you have done so, perhaps you will entertain us with a description of "kemping" hair, how you "gruntle" etc ... verb likewise, upped and, erm, went, although it didn't die so much as lose interest and find a new partner.

Your misguided attitude so colorfully but unpersuasively conveyed goes far in explaining why too many people are content to commit the offensive solecism "didn't used to".

"Use" in the sense "be accustomed" or "make it a practice" is an ordinary verb that happens, for the time being, to not be used in some of its tenses. The unused tenses are not dead: they are only dormant, ready to be used again whenever Norma Loquendi decides its time.
I would be quite comfortable with saying
When I retire, I will use often especially on
weekdays to go to the park. Will you so use?
I suppose there will be others so using. I don't
use to go to the park on weekends; it's too
crowded.
I won't say it, of course, because it's temporarily out of fashion, but if someone says it to me, I will accept it as normal English.
Note Evelyn Waugh's "You used not to have a moustache, used you?" (Quoted in I. C. B. Dear's Oxford English .), where "used" is used both separated from "to" and completely without "to".
We in America are fortunate in that the flaky acceptance of "didn't used to" seems to be confined to British possibly other non-American usage guides. So far as I've seen, American usage guides say that it's not good English.

For example, The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage says (page 934)
In American English ("didn't used to") is considered an error, but among the British it appears to have won some acceptance.
We need to be tolerant of British use recognizing that they've been led astray by faulty teaching and erroneous analysis while making sure that we're not tempted to follow their unenlightened example.
Does it apply only to written English? OK. In speech, both forms of "use to" are /[email protected]/. But written is what we're using here.

Hear! Hear!
Professor Lawler, take heed.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
"Use" in the sense "be accustomed" or "make it a practice" is an ordinary verb that happens, for the time ... unused tenses are not dead: they are only dormant, ready to be used again whenever Norma Loquendi decides (*)its(*) time.

it's
By the way, "amused" is probably not the predicate to ... "Psych-movement", which you can Google on to find out more.

Isn't this similar to: "The fields were covered in snow" - not passive "The body was covered by (the falling) snow" - passive

Yes. Many adjectives are derived historically from past participles and are indistinguishable from them because English doesn't inflect any more. You have to look at the individual constructions to see whether you're dealing with a predicate adjective or a passive when you find "be + V-EN" in a sentence.
-John Lawler http://www.umich.edu/~jlawler U Michigan Linguistics Dept "You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it." G.K. Chesterton
"CB" (Email Removed) writes:
Does it apply only to written English? OK. In speech, both forms of "use to" are /[email protected]/. But written is what we're using here.

Hear! Hear! Professor Lawler, take heed.

Of what? There's no context here.
-John Lawler http://www.umich.edu/~jlawler Michigan Linguistics "Ordnung gibt es heutzutage meistens dort, wo nichts ist. Es ist eine Mangelerscheinung." Bertolt Brecht
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
( snip, ...)
Same as: I damaged my car. Didn't you damage your ... what people are now tending to spell as "used to".

And what's that though? You're not really taking my point, which is that if you have a relic such as ... down hard and accept that it is not in fact a participle that parallels "damaged" but a word in itself.

As Donna announced several times: she is now on
vacation for a week. I thought she was thoroughly on top of the argument, so I will pitch in -
I think Donna not only 'took your point' but she
laid the cards to take the next couple of tricks as well.

a) The meaning is not entirely gone, contrary to your bald claim.

b) Even if it were - The conversion of the written* form is tougher to recommend because it *does allow for simple application of good 'rules of grammar.' It makes no difference to the pronunciation, so this is written grammar. Now, I expect that this will not impress the people who are totally unconcerned about conventional spelling but you don't seem to advocating "spell it however it sounds" as a general rule.
c) A new, different spelling is a route to formal acceptance of a new idiom. Considering that route, 'useta' is far behind a few other terms such as 'gonna.'
I wonder how this will appear in textbooks..
"In subtitles of movies, the words are usually spelled phonetically as 'gonna' and 'gotta'; that is also okay for informal registers such as chat rooms; up to now, the full spelling is required in news reports or written presentations, except for their quotations or special emphasis in titles."

( snip, rest)

Rich Ulrich, (Email Removed)
http://www.pitt.edu/~wpilib/index.html
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