For a paper I’m giving in January at the Leiden conference The Effects of Prescriptivism in Language History, I decided to look at strong verbs, or rather at the larger category of irregular verbs. Two questions for our readers: how many strong or irregular verbs are there in the English language? Perhaps there is not an answer to this, even though it is a closed class. But what about this one: which of these would be discussed most frequently in English usage guides and why?
One small clue (since I’ve finished my analysis): it is none of the verbs in the Snakes & Ladders image.