Slid or “slided”?

Slid or “slided”?

Just finished reading Ciaran Carson’s Pocket Guide. Another great read from him.

On page 59 he talks about how you might play a C or C# in D tunes and that the notes will often by “slided”.

I get that he means he is talking about performing a slide but would people look funny at you for saying that (or vice versa for saying “slid” which feels way more natural to me)?

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According to Wiktionary, ‘slided’ is nonstandard English. It appears to be attested (only?) in 1848 by Charles Dickens, but in that context I wonder if it was just a typo for ‘sidled’. However, English has a habit of turning nouns into verbs and will typically use the commonest form of the past tense (e.g. from the noun ‘trash’ comes the verb ‘to trash’, past tense ‘trashed’). Hence Carson might have unconsciously taken the noun ‘slide’ (musical ornament) and turned it into a verb ‘slided’. To my ears, just as with the example ‘trashed’, the result is very ugly, but it must be recognized that this is a common derivational process in the English language. I suppose one could say ’the fiddler slid in to C/C#/D. This sounds better to my ears.

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Rather tangential but interesting.

‘Slided’ sounds archaic to me (compare with Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’: “And was Jerusalem builded here …”). Perhaps it felt more natural to the writer in this particular context. I have noticed with the verb ‘to speed’, when used in the sense of ‘to travel at speed’, the past tense form ‘sped’ is commonly used: “We sped along the motorway.”; but when used in combination with ‘up’ (‘to speed up’ might even be considered a verb in its own right), people often seem naturally to prefer to use the ‘-ed’ past ending: “She speeded up the tune to 130bpm.” This is not a grammatical ‘rule’, just a common tendency. Another similar example is the verb ‘to hang’: in most contexts, we use the past tense form ‘hung’, but when the sense is ‘to send to the gallows’, we more often use ‘hanged’ (It is possible that we use an archaic word because hanging is seen as an archaic practice – and also perhaps because the legal system preserves a lot of archaic language).

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cac: “English has a habit of turning nouns into verbs …”

That is another possibility I had not considered. ‘Slide’ is, of course, already a verb, which probably came before the noun, I would guess. But in this case, the sense is very specific, i.e. ‘to apply a slide (a particular type of musical articulation) to a note or transition between notes’ – so it could be regarded as turning a noun, derived from a verb, back into a verb, rather than simply using the original verb (which is morphologically identical in its present-tense from).

It puts me in mind of the word ‘mouse’, borrowed for the familiar controlling device for a computer. Everybody knows that the plural of ‘mouse’ is ‘mice’ yet, when referring to the computer device, many people instinctively say ‘mouses’ and find it funny if someone says ‘mice’. It could simply be that they are not commonly referred to in the plural (we generally only use one at a time), so we have learned to bypass our humour response to ‘mouse’ but not to ‘mice’.

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According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the past participle of the verb “slide” has three alternate forms: “slid, slided, slidden.” (“Slid” is also the past tense.) Reference to notes being slided sounds just fine to my ear and sensibilities as a musician and musicologist. Slid sounds inappropriate, and until I checked just now, I didn’t even know that slidden was a word. (FWIW Carson is one year younger than I am.)

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I don’t think that Carson was that unaware of the use of language. Indeed he had the most beautiful command of both Irish and English.

I have just reached for my ‘OED on Historical Principles’ and it gives ‘slided’ as a Past Participle, along with ‘slid’ and ‘slidden’.

Keep safe and well everyone
All the best
Brian x

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“Everybody knows that the plural of ‘mouse’ is ‘mice’ “
Reminds me of a joke from (I think) Frank Muir and Dennis Norden.

Manager of a zoo to his secretary:
“Take a letter to our suppliers.
Dear Sir, please send two mongooses … er… no, make that: two mongeese … er…
OK, let’s start again.
Dear Sir, please send a mongoose.
PS Send another one with it.”

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I think cac’s explanation is the most likely; i.e., the noun ‘slide’, meaning the technique, has been put into verb form, ‘slided’, meaning ‘applied the technique known as a “slide”’. A subtle distinction, but “slid”, in the context, could refer to something accidental, unrecognized by convention, and/or not deliberate, as opposed to a choice made by the player.

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Sounds like Carson’s usual careful but playful approach to language.

I don’t have the book, so haven’t read the passage under discussion. But I’m guessing he’s talking about how trad musicians often slide or “smear” into the 7th note of a scale (in this case C or C#). I notice it particularly in mixolydian tunes, and especially when that note occurs in the tune as both natural and sharped.

Not knowing the context, I don’t know why he chose to put it in past tense. Seems as current (or more so) a practice today as it was in old recordings.

Also, it seems that Irish trad players, if they’re going to slide at all, almost always slide *up* into such a note, whereas bluegrass, swing, and old-timey fiddlers are as likely to slide *down* into or out of a note.

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“I don’t know why he chose to put it in past tense” - it’s not in the past tense, according to the OP: “ will often be slided“ - some kind of ‘future’ tense - he’s not talking about what was done in the past, but what is done in the present, and into the future, rather.

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Oops, yep, you’re right meself.

Well, there are more simpler ways to say that. “Trad musicians often slide…” such notes.

I’ve read only Last Night’s Fun and a few of Carson’s poems and enjoyed his way with words, so I’ll quit while I’m behind. 😉

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Well … the only time I ever get one-up on someone is in matters of English grammar, so … as you can imagine, that makes me a very popular and admired personage ….

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Oh, you’re *that* guy…. 😉

I just zeroed in on the “slided” that was quoted, not the rest of the sentence (not in quotes). So I appreciate the correction. No ruffled feathers here. 🙂

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Lots of preening here, though … !

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LOL

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Slode is the correct form.

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@briantheflute: Yes, I am sure Ciaran Carson knew exactly what he was doing. He might have chosen that form also partly because of its length (as compared to ‘slid’, with one syllable fewer *and* a shorter vowel), to emphasise the sense of the word.

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Apart from it being anything grammatical, it’s a technique used when playing a buttonbox, sliding from one button to the adjacent one, which may be above or below or in the adjacent row. It helps in some fingering patterns when you might otherwise run short of fingers! (But I don’t think I’ve ever heard “slided” or would use it myself. )

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I don’t get the connection between slided/slid notes and the use of c versus c# in d tunes….

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@jond – Fiddlers, pipers etc. often slide up from C to (or towards) C#, rather than playing either one or the other (or something in between).

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A famous man once wrote:
‘‘It ain’t know use in turnin’ on your light babe,
The light I never knowed’’
Bob Dylan ‘‘Don’t Think Twice’’……………..

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@CMO and then slud down to Cb.

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@Tony O’Rourke – I think that famous man was trying to mimic the non-standard speech patterns of his fellow countrymen (albeit from a very different part of the country and of a very different social class).

I was watching a documentary from US TV on Youtube, about Appallachia and its traditions (both music and drink related). Reminiscing about a particular run of moonshine he remembered, one old fiddler interviewed in the film recalls, “That was the goodest liquor you ever drinked.”

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@CMO thanks – but I’m struggling to find examples of this, at least in fiddle playing. Usually I’m hearing a roll, a cut, a slide up to cnat, or a note that lands somewhere between c and c#, but sliding up from cnat to or towards c# doesn’t seem that common. But maybe my ear is not finely enough tuned –e.g. I can’t seem to figure out exactly what Tommy Peoples does on that cnat in the second part of The Silver Spire. Maybe he’s sliding around the note, or… ? Anyway, I’d love to be enlightened on this aspect of ornamentation.
Jon
PS Sorry if I slided this thread away from its intended topic!

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« “I don’t know why he chose to put it in past tense” - it’s not in the past tense, according to the OP: “ will often be slided“ - some kind of ‘future’ tense - he’s not talking about what was done in the past, but what is done in the present, and into the future, rather. »

The form of the verb in the expression under discussion is the past participle, not the preterite (or simple past tense). We are informed above that the OED considers “slided” one of three possible past participles. Which would imply that “being slided”, “has been slided” or “will have been slided” are acceptable, but that “Did you hear how I slided into that f sharp there?” is not.

Re. “slode”, these days I bite my lip when people say, “that stunk!”

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Belfaster here, it could just be a local thing. I often used to hear people say “I slided up next up him” or “the wee one slided down the stairs” etc. though with TV and movies “slid” has become more common in recent years.

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“Everybody knows that the plural of ‘mouse’ is ‘mice’ “
but isn’t it ‘mousies’?

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The longer this discussion goes on the more appealing I find ‘slidden’; I will find opportunities to use it. Since everyone if familiar with hide, hid and hidden I suspect it is easier to slip into conversation than slided.

No sure what spellcheck dictionary I am using but it doesn’t know about ‘slided’. Maybe technology will take the word away.

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“Well … the only time I ever get one-up on someone is in matters of English grammar, so … as you can imagine, that makes me a very popular and admired personage ….”

Well, meself, I was impressed with your understanding that the word in question is not in past tense, but you lost me with your misuse of “personage.” 😀

Its proper use would be to designate you as a person of particular rank or having a particular role. “He was a personage of importance in the ITM community.”

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John Hill’s Belfast grammar maybe explains it: regional variations. Here in central Scotland you will often hear “he has went” instead of “he has gone”. But the one that really surprised me for a strange past tense was a diver saying “I DOVE in xyz ocean”.

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‘Its proper use would be to designate you as a person of particular rank or having a particular role. “He was a personage of importance in the ITM community.”’ Which was the implication I intended - but my only claim is to have occasionally gotten one-up on somebody in matters of grammar, never of usage.

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‘But the one that really surprised me for a strange past tense was a diver saying “I DOVE in xyz ocean”.’

I grew up with ‘dove’ as the past tense of ‘dive’, and am unaware of ever having heard ‘dived’ until well into adulthood.

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Probably the difference between UK and US, meself, as is “have gotten” - used to be “have got” here, though “gotten” is getting a hold! The diver in question had spent much of his time in the US.

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I don’t think slide>slid versus slide>slided has to do with nouns, it has to do with the fact that English has “strong verbs” (ablaut) and “weak verbs” and verbs have a tendency to drift from one category to the other, generally from strong to weak.

We have hide>hid but also ride>rode.

Bide can go bide>bided or bide>bode.

So slide>slided or slide>slode wouldn’t surprise me.

Is it sneaked or snuck?

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“Is it sneaked or snuck?” It may depend on how it sounds with the word that follows. Similarly for other words above where English allows a choice.

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trish santer: ‘Probably the difference between UK and US, meself, as is “have gotten” - used to be “have got” here, though “gotten” is getting a hold!.’

The form ‘gotten’ existed in England before the language found its way to N. America. We (British) still use similar forms in words like ‘forgotten’ and ‘ill-gotten’. For whatever reason, ‘gotten’ fell out of favour as the standard past participle in Britain, but persisted in America.

myself: “I grew up with ‘dove’ as the past tense of ‘dive’, and am unaware of ever having heard ‘dived’ until well into adulthood.”

Out of interest, how would you form the perfect tense? “I have dove”, “I have dived” or “I have diven”?

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If anyone has 150 or so hours to spare, this podcast (still ongoing!) explores the whole history of English from its Indo-European roots.
https://historyofenglishpodcast.com

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Stuff like this must be why people hate learning English as a second language.

You can have hide > hid > hidden, but ride > rode > ridden. “Rid” means something else entirely.

Then there’s lay and lie. He is laying down v. he is lying down.

I would naturally use “dove” but I have probably used “dived” as well.

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Laying v lying. Is having a different but similar form for the reflexive version of a verb, and having to learn it, unique to English?

I used to work with someone who had excellent English as a second language who had absorbed the rules well enough but sometimes had to guess. He might say “he rided down the road” (as a child might) and was happy to be corrected (as a child might be).

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‘how would you form the perfect tense? “I have dove”, “I have dived” or “I have diven”?’ Hmmm … now that’s a head-scratcher. Truth is, I’m not sure I’ve ever in my life had occasion to use “dive” in the perfect tense - past, present, or future. I think “had/have dove” would be most likely to come out of my mouth - but it wouldn’t sound right to me - but “had/have dived” wouldn’t sound right, either, so … ? Btw, according to Merriam-Webster, the case of “dove” is opposite to that of “gotten”: “dove” didn’t appear until the 1800s, in the US.

“Is it sneaked or snuck?” I was taught, as a child, that “snuck” is a barbarism - and, when it comes to language, whatever you were taught as a child is doctrine.

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@meself: I have noticed that Americans often use the simple past where British speakers would typically use the perfect, e.g. “I walked that route many times” vs. “I’ve walked that route many times”. But, like many liguistic ‘innovations’* from N. America, it is creeping in among British speakers.

*I am assuming that this is an innovation that has occurred by way of linguistic economy – i.e. the same concept can be expressed just as well with fewer words and whatever nuance there may be in the sense can be deduced from context. (German, by contrast, has all but eschewed the simple past in colloquial speech, replacing it with the perfect tense.) It is possible, however, that this too existed in Britain much earlier and fell out of favour.

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I think for me snuck versus sneaked is a matter of ‘register’. Writing or speaking formally I would used sneaked, informally I would use either but would be more likely to use snuck in a short sentence or light or humerous narrative.

Either might help project the required image or metaphor - such as a word “creeping in among British speakers” (above)

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Words can use different forms for specific contexts. A picture is hung, but a man is hanged.

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Can not a man be “well hung” ? 🙂

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Not wanting to offend anyone (least of all Kenny), I’ve been sitting on my hands to stop myself from typing a response to Howard’s distinction. I wouldn’t touch that with a ten foot pole, so to speak.

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Sorry gimpy - couldn’t resist that. It reminded me of a song introduction by the late Vin Garbutt, who is much missed. His introductions were as good as his songs, a lost art these days, I’m afraid.

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No need to apologize, you and I share a sense of humour, at any rate. 😉

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Ah, but doesn´t it always seem to be the way with humour? It almost always seeks out the boundaries. 🙂

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Yes, CMO, I know all about the older use of “gotten” in English, but was talking about more modern usage. It’s in the older Bible versions, as well as begotten and even beGAT!

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My response is conditioned by having just watched the 1927 expressionist sci-fi movie “Metropolis”. I suspect the form of the word is affected by it being a reference to either a present tense, future tense or past tense action. “Slided” seems oriented to a present tense description, as in, “watch how this note is slided”, even though “slid” is probably considered since 1872 and by starchnecks near the Tower Of Babel dungeon gates as “proper”, and which we all know, “proper” behavior, as in, following arbitrary authority codes and giving your autonomy and perspective away through force, coercion or timidity, leads to platitudes, syphilis and forgetfulness in the keys of Gwiz, Cfreedom or Bcaged. “Slid” also has a “hip in-thing” slang style to it, which means it arrived through development by those who were the most experienced musicians, and can’t be far from the best option no matter what’s correct anywhere else in Musicland. Others here have already noted, quite properly, that “slode” and other variations, such as “sluding”, “get a slyde happening, man”, “you really slooped that note up, and now you’re playing A when you should be on Bsharp, and what are you going to do now, that you’re stranded in the nether regions of harmonic wha-de-doo-daa, at the end of a verse with a chorus at the doorsteps?”, and the ever-dangerous, “there’s no freaking Csharp on the off-beat, Zeldor, try playing tambourine next time.” Whistle players would be well-advised to avoid approaching keyboard players until this issue is resolved amicably among the woodwind players, to prevent topic drift. You don’t want an entire topic to slide, be slid, to be slided, to go slude, to have slooped, be slode or get slade up entirely. Even at a session after the third round. What this all boils down to is that whistle players should gig with percussion players, for least likelihood of arriving at cooperative breakdowns before the rebellion against the machines commences.