F. Scott Fitzgerald Conjugated The Word "Cocktail," And You're Welcome For Your New Favorite Words

One of the celebrated author’s lesser known contributions, however, is his advocacy for the importance of a very special verb — one that you need to start using immediately, if you haven’t already. It’s so simple that I’m still wondering why I didn’t think to use it sooner: to cocktail. Genius.

Fitzgerald recognized how essential this use of the word was, which frankly, isn’t surprising, considering how near and dear to him the topic of alcohol was. In a letter to Blanche Knopf, the wife of publisher Alfred A. Knopf, the Great Gatsby author gave the noun-turned-verb its due by conjugating it out for her.

“As ‘cocktail,’ so I gather, has become a verb, it ought to be conjugated at least once,” he wrote. He proceeded to list all of its forms, and lucky for us, it’s not an irregular verb with tricky conjugations. Nonetheless, Fitzgerald gets really deep into the grammar of it. Gold star if you can rattle off all of these verb forms off the top of your head.

Present: I cocktail, thou/you cocktail, it cocktails, we cocktail, you cocktail, they cocktail.

Imperfect: I was cocktailing.

Perfect/past definite: I cocktailed.

Past perfect: I have cocktailed.

Conditional: I might have cocktailed.

Pluperfect: I had cocktailed.

Subjunctive: I would have cocktailed.

Voluntary subjunctive: I should have cocktailed.

Preterite: I did cocktail.

Imperative: Cocktail!

Interrogative: Cocktailest thou?

Subjunctive conditional: I would have had to have cocktailed.

Conditional subjunctive: I ought have had to have cocktailed.

Participle: Cocktailing

in honor of the 90th anniversary of The Great Gatsby, why not stop quoting lines Fitzgerald probably plagiarized from his wife anyway and spend some time googling how Fitzgerald plagiarized from his wife and was a massively abusive dick in general (intentionally [seriously he had a SYSTEM] triggered her schizophrenic [possibly bipolar] episodes, made her have an affair so he could research it and then put her under house arrest when she tried to leave him, blamed her for literally everything that went wrong with his life while at the same time personally striving to crush her dreams of writing and dancing, absolutely refused to grant her a divorce despite her YEARS of petitioning for one, and many other easily google-able horrors)

also consider that it’s just kind of a shitty book like jfc Gatsby is based on HIM Gatsby is a self-insert he is Gatsby and Daisy is his wife/another woman who pissed him off and there is literally a scene in this book where the narrator YELLS TEARFULLY THAT THE AUTHOR’S SELF-INSERT IS THE BEST AND ONLY DECENT PERSON IN THE BOOK

I mean can we just stop calling this the great American novel please this man is a fucking embarrassment

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
—  F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby