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Well, google.co.uk will let you search webpages from the UK ... it gives: didn't use to 593 didn't used to 2140

That's about 1:4. I got different results, though:

"didn't use to" site:.uk 566
"didn't used to" site:.uk 941
which is roughly 1:2. It's still groanworthy, though.
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.

Good analogies, but I think the problem is in the pronunciation. With it's weird pronunciation /j:ust/, "didn't used to" sounds virtually identical to "didn't use to". This would seem to be born out by the existence of the rarer (thank God, because it's even worse) error, the affirmative "X use to".
This doesn't explain why this embarrassment is more common in the UK than in the US, though, I must admit.

Ross Howard
Bob Cunningham (Email Removed) wrote,
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.

Must be because of all those Labour governments through the sixties.

My British parents sure seemed to try to teach me that "didn't used to" was a nasty North American habit.
As I implied before, I was taught to dodge the issue.

"That used to be purple, didn't it?"
And while, upon reflection, I don't never use the term "used to"...

And while, upon reflection, it's not correct to say that I never use the term "used to" in written speech, I am always somewhat suspicious of it, and do look for alternatives. I probably do avoid "use to", that is cases where "use to" would be "most correct", almost totally.
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.

Perhaps the British are overly reacting to concerns about their pompous image, or something.
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(Email Removed) (Donna Richoux) wrote,

I tried, and:
"didn't use to" ~12,300
"didn't used to" ~28,000
"used not to" ~20,600
That's somehow "Canadianized"; (I'm forced to www.google.ca) I'm not sure what the effect of that is.
The last one sends me to...
In American English, "used to" and "use to" (in both the "s" being pronounced /s/ and in the former expression having the "d" silent) are both standard *under the appropriate circumstances.*
From The American Heritage Book of English Usage at http://www.bartleby.com/64/pages/page41.html
used to
We use the verb use in its past tense with an infinitive to indicate a past condition or habitual practice: We used to live in that house. Because the -d in used is not pronounced in these constructions, people sometimes mistakenly leave it out when writing. Thus it is incorrect to write We use to play tennis. When do occurs with this form of use in negative statements and in questions, the situation is reversed, and use to (not used to ) is correct: You did not use to play on that team. Didn' t she use to work for your company?
(end quote)
Since the pronunciations are identical, this might confuse some people. But it should be easy enough to memorize the distinction in spelling. "Used to" is used where a past tense would be used, thus the "-d." (I should note that MWCD11 does show a difference in pronunciation. In addition to the pronunciation /jus/ for the "used" in "used to," it also has the pronunciation /just/.)

Raymond S. Wise
Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
E-mail: mplsray @ yahoo . com
Hear! Hear! Professor Lawler, take heed.

Of what? There's no context here.

The context *is* here: It consists of the statement that both forms of "use to", meaning (see subject line) "use to" and "used to" are pronounced the same way. But what we use in a Usenet posting is the written form, not the spoken form.
The implied point is that the fact that they're pronounced the same way is irrelevant.
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Dr Zen (Email Removed) wrote,
What on earth does "use to" mean? I know what "have" and "keep" mean, but this verb "use to"... Could ... see him for ages" or "I will not use to go there", nor what you would mean by either exactly.

The following are related, I assume...
I am used to people knocking on my door.
People used to knock on my door.
That fouls up Google search counts for "used to not".

I am used to not being listened to.
That can't be correct, can it? It's something I might conceivably say, although I'd rework it for writing into (at least):

I am used to people not listening to me.
Though that excludes my cat. Ah. Maybe the following will include my cat:

I am used to everyone not listening to me.
But all three sentences really say slightly different things.
I am used to not being listened to. That can't be correct, can it?

Why not? Seems perfectly normal usage to me, although in terms of register, "used to" is more likely to go with "I'm" than "I am".
Mark Brader > "The net exists to be used. It is a powerful tool (Email Removed) > and as long as people treat it as a tool and not a toy Toronto > it will prosper." Jerry Schwarz on Usenet, 1982
The following are related, I assume... I am used to people knocking on my door. People used to knock on my door.

They are remotely related, but they represent two distinct verbs that are both spelled "use".
I suspect a big part of the problem people have with thinking of the "use" in the sense "make it a practice" may be that they try to reconcile that sense with ones they're more familiar with, like "make use of, employ" and "be inured" or "be habituated".
Your first example has the "be habituated" verb, while your second example has the "make it a practice" verb. Again, two different verbs.
The online Oxford English Dictionary has 25 definitions under "use", some of which have subdivisions.
It may be best to think of the above three meanings of "use" as corresponding to three different words that happen to be spelled the same even though the relationships are actually somewhat closer than that.
Note that the "use" that means "be habituated" is another word, like the "use" that means "make it a practice", that seems to not be presently used in all tenses. For example, we can say, "We will habituate him to telling the truth", but I don't think we can say "We will use him to telling the truth". But we can say "He is habituated to telling the truth" and "He is used to telling the truth".
That seems to make two verbs that for the time being are not usable in all tenses. Can anyone think of others?

It wasn't too long ago that that "use" (the "make
habituated" one) was used in other tenses: The OED has a citation as recently as 1877, which for the OED was fairly recent:
IV. 19.a. To make (a person, etc.) familiar or
accustomed by habit or practice; to habituate,
accustom; to inure. Freq. const. in or with
In later use Sc., and chiefly in pa. pple.; cf. c below.

b. Freq. with to (and n. or inf.).

1740 CHESTERFIELD Lett. Oct., To use your ear alittle to English verse.

1769 GOLDSM. Hist. Rome (1786) I. 402 Having usedhis body much to antidotes, the poison had but
little effect.

1783 JUSTAMOND tr. Raynal's Hist. Indies VII. 91It is not..surprising that the seal..should use
her little ones to live under water.

1814 SCOTT Wav. liv, He wanted to use her bydegrees to live without meat. 1873- in dialect
use (Eng. Dial. Dict.).

1877 MRS. LEAR tr. Fenelon's Spiritual Lett. 240So as to wean you like a child, and use you to
dry bread instead of milk.
c. More usu. in pa. pple. (Const. to or of.)
I don't think "wean you like a child, and use you to dry bread instead of milk" is acceptable modern English, but the OED seems to imply it's not unheard of, in that they use the wording "more usual in past participle". But much of the OED itself is around one hundred years old.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
( snip, ...)

And what's that though? You're not really taking my point, ... a participle that parallels "damaged" but a word in itself.

As Donna announced several times: she is now on vacation for a week.

Sorry, I don't slavishly read her every word. If she said so to me, I missed it.
I thought she was thoroughly on top of the argument, so I will pitch in -

If she was thoroughly on top of it, old boy, she wouldn't really need your pitching, don't you think?
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.

You might perhaps supply a usage of "use to" in the present tense then.
It seems to me you are meeting a bald claim with another bald claim. The difference is, yours can be substantiated. Do so.
b) Even if it were

So even if I am right, I am wrong. Aha. I see.
- The conversion of the written* form is tougher to recommend because it *does allow for simple application of good 'rules of grammar.'

Yes, very nice.
I am here, sharpening my "went", waiting to put the pin to your "good 'rules of grammar'" when you're done.
It makes no difference to the pronunciation, so this is written grammar.

Yes, well done. You are definitely "on top" of the discussion. You've mastered that we are discussing the written language only.
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.

Indeed I am not. Several posters have discussed the possibility of English's adopting "useta" and other forms, but I don't have any problem with English's not being phonetically spelled or with its not being "logical" as such.
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.'

Oh dear. See, I'm not in the least bit concerned with "useta". I don't have an opinion on it except that it's the kind of thing you see in dialogue when a writer is trying to be snobby about how other people speak.
I wonder how this will appear in textbooks.. "In subtitles of movies, the words are usually spelled phonetically as 'gonna' ... is required in news reports or written presentations, except for their quotations or special emphasis in titles." ( snip, rest)

Perhaps you think that what you had to say was in any way germane to my point, but it quite clearly was not. I certainly don't think it merited the rather brusque rubric. I say "used to" is a relic that has shucked off its meaning, and you tell me that "useta" is behind "gonna". Well yes, it doubtless is, as others have pointed out.

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