Monday, April 13, 2009

justed listed

I received this postcard the other day in the mail, from a local Realtor looking to drum up business from people like me who own condos in the same development:

116 Waterside, Building B, Unit 206
Two bedroom, two baths and two outdoor living spaces on the pond!!!

I have to admit that, as absurd as "justed listed" sounds, it wasn't until the third or fourth time I looked at it that the headline looked wrong. A Google search confirms that "justed" for "just" is rare but not unheard of in phrases like "justed listed" (390 hits), "justed married" (522) and "justed sold" (56).

It's not hard to explain why: when we write such a phrase, our brains are thinking "past participle tense!" (whether or not we know that it's called that). We might be so anxious to mark the phrase as being in that tense that we accidentally inflect the wrong word and tag the -ed onto the adverb just in addition to the verb list.

N.B. — I suspect that some of these Google hits are from items written by non-native English speakers, but the Realtor's postcard is not.

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