Can you say

and so, he was deserved of his sorry fate ?

Would you pronounce deserved as deserve-ed, as is commonly done in poetic language?

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    You could reasonably do it if you were writing poetry, or some text that adopted an archaic tone. It's not perfectly "legal" modern English syntax, though. – Hot Licks Oct 27 '14 at 16:08
  • for myself, I read it as "deserve-ed" when I read the question. I don't read poetry but maybe I should. – DoubleDouble Oct 27 '14 at 21:26

No, you can say only 'He deserved his sorry fate'. 'Deserved' has two syllables. There are no citations for 'deserved of' in the Corpus of Contemporary American English and only two in the British National Corpus.

You could say "He was deserving of his sorry fate". There are 72 citations for 'deserving of' in the BC and 570 in the COCA.

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  • Please support your answer with sources. That makes your answer stronger, and more likely to be viewed as correct. Otherwise it's only opinion. The site tour and the help center will give you guidance on how to use this site. – anongoodnurse Oct 27 '14 at 13:41
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    I've added some figures from the BNC and COCA – tunny Oct 27 '14 at 13:50

I might spell it "deservéd" to indicate the pronunciation.

Because a friend who does forget things

Is deservéd not of mirth.

Jonathan White, "Six Months"

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    I think you're supposed to use a grave accent (as in, "deservèd") when you do this. – codebreaker Oct 28 '14 at 17:49

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