I'm not entirely sure where you get the number 370 from. This website claims to have a list of 620 available to its subscribers, and I imagine that even that it not exhaustive.

It's not about sheer numbers though. Most verbs are regular, obviously. However many of the irregular verbs also happen to be very commonly used. Take a look at this list. It's the 10 most common verbs in the English language:

  1. be
  2. have
  3. do
  4. say
  5. get
  6. make
  7. go
  8. know
  9. take
  10. see

How many are irregular? How about all of them! Only 7 of the top 25 English verbs are regular.

Compare that to, say, German, which happens to be one of English's closest neighbours linguistically. In German there's only one truly irregular verb, sein (to be). Other than that, all verbs fall into two categories, strong and weak, which each have their own (different, but predictable) conjugation rules. Of the top ten German verbs, one is irregular, eight are strong, and one is weak.

Three forms to a verb? Regular ones have four (look, looks, looking, looked). Irregular ones have X forms, where X is a number perhaps less, perhaps more, or perhaps equal to four.

There are plenty of weird things in English other than spelling. How about...

perl -E'sub Monkey::do{say$_,for@_,do{($monkey=[caller(0)]->[3])=~s{::}{ }and$monkey}}"Monkey say"->Monkey::do'

In reply to Re^3: thoughts on perl language by tobyink
in thread thoughts on perl language by Anonymous Monk

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