6.21.2006

viewn as viewn from above

Well, it turns out I'm not cloud nutzo after all. A quick scan of google hits for "viewn" revealed that there are other speakers/writers out there who ride the 'viewn' train.

Take this website for example. You'll see a lovely picture and a usage of "viewn". Now, what's interesting to note in this example is that the usage appears to be from a native german english speaker (note the ".de" extension on the URL).

Also, I'm no expert computer programmer, but you'll notice if you check out the search results that many of the URL extensions contain a "viewn" modifier such as the one in the URL above.

http://www.google.com/search?q=viewn&hl=en&lr=&safe...


Maybe someone more adept at programming could enlighten us, but I suspect it's actually "viewn" and not, say, "view N".

The moderater on this board (which seems to have something to do with an internet radio station) demonstrates what I'd conjecture is the most common usage of "viewn".

Under no circumstances should this station be viewn as an opportunity to go off on a tangent and play only things you like.


"Viewn" amounts to basically a passive form of "view" and the two seem function as a pair much like "see/seen", "show/shown", "tear/torn" "grow/grown" or "shear/shorn". In an impromtu test of my roommates just now, I asked them to construct a sentence in the passive voice using to verb "to view" that functioned as a caption that explain what on was looking at in a picture of the Empire State Building from the top of the World Trade Center. One roommate didn't react at all, but the other said "you want me to say viewn, but I know that's not right."

Interesting! Here is one other potential candidates for the "viewn" treatment (unforunately the only one I can think of):

Shoon (Shoo) - "The rat was shoon from the house."

Can you think of any more?

5 comments:

Cristi said...

interesting! it's neat that you seem to find this irregular form to be more natural in the passive voice. after all, the passive in english is constructed from the past participle (i had shown, i had counted), but it seems less likely that we'd say 'i had viewn it' than 'should not be viewn'. a new part of speech? the passively-marked verb?
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also, i'll just publically say what we were talking about the other day: that scott once said 'pourn' as the past participle of 'to pour'. clearly the -n and the -ed are seeping together in some way, and not just in scott's brain. funny that this form would 'reemerge', since it seems like the most archaic form.
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also, in looking for more examples, i'm betting they'll all be germanic verbs!

Cristi said...

i don't have the heart to repost the whole thing, but i just realized how silly 'publically' probably looks. oops!

Scott said...

Something else that seems potentially crucial is the "as [verb] by" construction. I'll go through a list:

1. The paper as torn by the chief.

2. The wind as shorn by the mountain.

3. The plant as grown by Ms. Watson.

4. The movie as shown/seen by John Goodman.

Of course, not all verbs have the n-ending in this construction.

1. The noise as heard by the mouse.

2. Mao as painted by Andy Warhol.

3. The bonds as deposited by Al Capone.

What I'm going to wager is that this construction is "as [verb as used in present/past/future perfect form] by". That's where the difference seems to reside between the first set of examples and the second.

He tore me a new one.

or

He has[had/will have] torn me a new one.

as opposed to:

He heard my plea for mercy.

He has[had/will have] heard my plea for mercy.

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So what does this all mean? Honestly, I'm not entirely sure. Is this a scientific treatment of the "viewn" problem? Probably not. Although, it does potentially seem to indicate that the passive voice has its own verb form, and this goes unnoticed because the verb form looks the same as the past tense form in many cases.

Anonymous said...

this website is now the first google hit for "viewn"

tudor said...

quite so, i thought i had a good scrabble word and was most surprise to find it did not exist, I have certainly heard lots of people say it!

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