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世の高校生はこの「既読」がついたつかないで日々揉めているそうな。

Why is the past form of a verb and negative te form written next to each other? is it grammatically correct and what does it mean?

Apparently it's the function of the suffix 付く meaning "to become (a state, condition, etc.), so this sentence mean "without becoming 「既読」がついた? can anyone confirm this usage?

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  • Hi, just a tip: when you edit your post, make sure you put the new information in the main body, as opposed to in an edit history note. I have transferred your edit into your question body for you.
    – Eddie Kal
    Dec 12 '21 at 20:45
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It's not a te-form. The phrase used there is ついたつかない (meaning whether or not) + a reason expressing で. This is a variant of 「するしない」 and 「するかしないか」. するかしないか, for instance, can occur in these phrases.

~するかしないか
whether or not to

~するかしないかに
scarcely when

~するかしないかの問題
matter of deciding whether to

~するかしないかの選択の自由を持っている
have the choice to ~ or not

~するかしないかを決める問題
matter of deciding whether to

~するかしないか迷う
debate whether to

Since the temporal point of focus is after the message has become 既読, つく is in the past tense.

Seems to me every day high school students around the world quibble over whether their text/SNS messages have been read.

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