Paging the Imperial Grammar Czar

Before we make an Imperial Arse of Ourself (which we have in the past and we’re trying, really, to not make a habit of it) and keeping in mind that English is our second language, we have a quick question:

The past tense of the verb “lead.” Is it “led” or isn’t it?

Because it was when we went to school, and it’s driving us nuts to see people using “lead” for the past tense. But, then again, if we’re wrong we’ll file it under “shit we didn’t pay proper attention to” and get over it.

Thatisall.

52 comments

  1. 1
    LC Gunsniper growls and barks:

    Led works.

  2. 2
    BrendaK growls and barks:

    Led is acceptable, and even correct according to the grammar I learned.

    I have the same problem with people using ‘pleaded’ instead of ‘pled’. I don’t care what Merriam-Webster has to say on the subject, the only acceptable past tense of plead is pled. AND ‘disrespect’ IS NOT A VERB. Finally, if any of you have a budding newscaster in your general vicinity, it should be explained to the little dear that the only acceptable pronunciation of both ‘Ahmadinejad’ and ‘Gaddafi’ would be ‘Asshole,’ and that a collection of congress persons is properly called a ‘bag of dicks.’

    :em08:

    I get a little emotional about grammar; and about people loitering on my lawn.

  3. 3
    rickn8or growls and barks:

    Brenda, re: “plead, pled, pleaded”: Who authorized this? Newscasters and newspapers have set my teeth on edge with this for years.

    Glad to see I’m not alone on this.

    And no, I do not write “to-day” and “to-morrow”.

  4. 4
    single stack growls and barks:

    Led is the past tense of lead.
    Unless you’re talking about the kind of balloon that doesn’t go over well in which case I think the past tense would be Hindenburg. :em03:

  5. 5
    LC HJ Caveman82952 growls and barks:

    Oh, now I get it, like shot is the past tense of shoot…cool, knew it was in there somewhere.

  6. 6
    Emperor Misha I growls and barks:

    single stack says:

    Unless you’re talking about the kind of balloon that doesn’t go over well in which case I think the past tense would be Hindenburg.

    You mean like a Lead Zeppelin?
    Emperor Misha I recently posted..Paging the Imperial Grammar CzarMy Profile

  7. 7
    single stack growls and barks:

    Emperor Misha I @ #:

    Precisely :em01:

  8. 8
    ohio right wing nut growls and barks:

    BrendaK says:

    I get a little emotional about grammar; and about people loitering on my lawn.

    It seems to me that someone Shat in Brendas Cherrios this morning.

    :em05:

  9. 9
    rickn8or growls and barks:

    You mean like a Lead Zeppelin?

    But just to complicate things, the band’s name was “Led Zeppelin”.

  10. 10
    BrendaK growls and barks:

    It seems to me that someone Shat in Brendas Cherrios this morning.

    Nah, I’ve always been a Mr. Spock gal.

  11. 11
    single stack growls and barks:

    rickn8or @ #:

    ZOOOOOM!

    Watch out for those low flying jokes.

  12. 12
    Darth Venomous growls and barks:

    Sire:

    You don’t need the IGC for that. It’s “led”.

  13. 13
    LC Fei Long growls and barks:

    Led is indeed the past and past participle of the verb “lead”, for ever and ever, amen.

    Oh, I am somewhat stodgy with my grammar and not afraid to get dogmatic about it, armed to the teeth with scary Greek-derived terms. (Here’s a few: heresy, schism, anathema!)

    But not to the point of pretending English has to be like any other animal.

    rickn8or @ #:
    Legend has it that that was just to keep people from mispronouncing it as if it had something to do with the predecessor of Sprite or the vanguard of some sort of aerial formation.

  14. 14
    LCBrendan growls and barks:

    You lead a team
    You led the dog for a walk
    He pled guilty (past tense)
    He pleads guilty (present tense)
    He led the team off a cliff

    Unless you’re talking about the kind of balloon that doesn’t go over well in which case I think the past tense would be Hindenburg.

    A lead balloon falls

    The Hindenburg exploded, it did not fall. It did not go splat, it went BOOM.

  15. 15
    LCBrendan growls and barks:

    Definition of an idea going down “like a lead balloon” would be: asking an American for proper grammar :em07: :em05:

    To those of us who speak the Queen’s English, an American talking about grammar, is when they are discussing their mother’s mother\.

    *dons flameproof suit*

  16. 16
    Tallulah growls and barks:

    It is “led.” “Lead” is WRONG, and so bloody irritating. It just another of these annoying fads that crop up constantly among the ill-educated. Like eschewing the use of “like” as a conjunction (hey, it’s been a conjunction since at least the eleventh century, but let’s not be hasty!), or thinking that you can’t end a sentence with a preposition.*

    But, LIKE the Editor of the Oxford English Dictionary (magnum opus) said, let us not “follow the ignorant to do ill” (when we misspell “judgement” as “judgment”).

    As a lifelong book editor, I get to scotch these annoying errors whenever one of my authors makes them; very gratifying. :-)

    *Winston Churchill’s secretary was one of these annoying Miss Fidgit grammarians. She kept inverting phrases to avoid the dreaded [non]-error of ending a phrase with one of them, until he finally wrote a tart note to her, saying, “This is something up with which I will not put!”

    While I’m on that subject, Fowler (author of Modern English Usage) explained how that superstition got started. The poet John Dryden wrote the first English grammar book. In his day, the “vulgar tongue” wasn’t studied at university, but Latin and Greek were. Dryden tried to map English grammar by using LATIN as a guide, saying he could not make head or tail of the English grammar, and “was forced to construe it as Latin.” So he imposed Latin rules and Latin syntax on our Germanic language. Where it wouldn’t fit, he forced it. Where we did things differently, he decided English was “wrong” (because it was supposedly inferior, a mongrel creation).

    So, when he looked at those little words like “up, with, in, for, by,” etc., he called them “PREpositions,” because in LATIN, they did precede the clause they modified. In English, though, they naturally follow the words they’re connected to. (See what I did there?)

    The “tell” is that you have to stick in an extra word to make this unnatural (for English) syntax work: “WHICH.” Now we have a pox of “of which, by which, for which, in which, up with which,” and so on, plaguing our writing.

    But not in our speech: only the most affected pansy/academic would talk like that in real life. We easily fall into our natural speech patterns when we’re not writing it down for possibly censorious eyes.

    We now return you to your regular program. . . .

  17. 17
    Tallulah growls and barks:

    While I’m riding my favorite hobbyhorse, LET me just say something about the blasted “Webster’s Dictionary.”

    The worst decision the idiotic publishing houses ever made was to adopt that waste of trees as the standard dictionary, after Webster’s made the idiotic decision to become a descriptive dictionary rather than a prescriptive dictionary.

    In other words, if any baboon says it, IT’S IN THERE. No matter how ignorant and illiterate. Our parents used to tell us we couldn’t use words that aren’t in the dictionary, like “ain’t.” Well, they’re all in there now! They also don’t have the balls to include usage notes.

    For a real dictionary that had excellent usage guides on points of grammar and syntax, get a copy of the old unabridged American Heritage Dictionary, pre-1974. You won’t believe the difference. Their Usage Notes were the best. (They’ve lost their balls in more recent editions, because too many po-mo buffoons were whining that they were being “judgmental” about using bad English: now their Usage Notes are timid, cautious things and lack the bold clarity of old.)

    The “descriptive dictionaries” are a plague of modern, “nonjudgmental” times; another sign of the wholesale abandonment of standards in the West. Utter CRAP.

  18. 18
    L.C. Mope growls and barks:

    His Imperial Majestylyness avers thusly:

    The past tense of the verb “lead.” Is it “led” or isn’t it?

    It’s like the difference between an open thread and an open thred, only different.
    L.C. Mope recently posted..I’m not here for a long time; I’m here for a good timeMy Profile

  19. 19
    single stack growls and barks:

    The Hindenburg exploded, it did not fall. It did not go splat, it went BOOM.

    It went over like a lead balloon. :em07:

    Apparently Misha is the only one that got the joke.

  20. 20
    LCBrendan growls and barks:

    It went over like a lead balloon

    It went up like a match in firecracker factory

    So there :em01: :em07: :em05:

  21. 21
    LC Getalis, Imperial Czar of Pharmacology growls and barks:

    “From whence” is redundant, as “whence” means “from which”.

  22. 22
    NR Pax growls and barks:

    And while we are on the topic, beatings with a bamboo cane should be administered to people who seem to think that the word “lose” is spelled “loose.” Then there is my usual tirade about the apostrophe that is explained better by this person.

  23. 23
    sleeper growls and barks:

    Yup, it’s led.

    And my OED says “pleaded”.

  24. 24
    Brother Stormhammer growls and barks:

    LCBrendan @ #:

    This sudden explosion of Hindenburg-related puns leaves me a-gassed.
    *hides*

  25. 25
    single stack growls and barks:

    LCBrendan @ #:

    :em05:

    It was like living in a powder keg and giving off sparks.

  26. 26
    FrankOK growls and barks:

    Yes – “led” is the proper past tense of “lead”.

    An incident from 7th grade re: tenses of verbs is still with me. The class, excepting the teacher, was all male and somewhat on the rowdy side. One poor guy was called on to recite the tenses of “shoot”.

    He began, ” shoot, shot, ..”, and immediately there was a yell from somewhere in the room – “Don’t say it!”

    The hour class was a waste from that point forward.
    FrankOK recently posted..Oh – we’re making threats now?My Profile

  27. 27
  28. 28
    LC TerribleTroy growls and barks:

    Well since I’m not a profeesional writer, I don’t worry so much about grammer.

    @ Brendan. I’ll keep that in mind the next time I try to interpet what the fuck a “barbie” means, or maybe when I’m conversing with some cockney Limey who speaks like they have a mouth full of shite. I submit that the actual best practioners of “Queens english” are the Indians (dot). But aussies….speaking queens english?? PUHLEEEZE….. more like convict english. Muwahahahahaha…..

  29. 29
    Terrapod growls and barks:

    George Washington led his men to victory… yes, it was correct then and still is the proper use of past tense for lead or leading.

    I too have noted the absolutely horrible lack of grammar in the news today, simply the byproduct of “phonics” that was introduced in the early 60′s….starting… of course… in CALIFORNIA and then infecting the whole educational system.

    Thank G-d I am also a product of a foreign state’s educational system, one not corrupted (at that time) with PC education bullshit.

  30. 30
    LC Grammar Czar, G.L.O.R. growls and barks:

    Darth Venomous says:

    You don’t need the IGC for that.

    Hey Spats. Bite me.

    But yes, Emperor. You are correct. The past tense of the verb “lead” is “led.” One of MY biggest pet peeves is using the word “drug” as past tense of drag.

  31. 31
    single stack growls and barks:

    Terrapod @ #:

    Phonics isn’t the problem with the atrocious grammar in modern writing. Phonics is a method of learning to read and pronounce written words and has nothing to do with their proper grammatical use.
    I learned to read phonetically and I’m a very good reader. With phonics an unfamiliar word can be “sounded out” to learn the pronunciation. Phonics was replaced with “see-say” and the results are pathetic, to say the least.
    Grammar, however, is a completely different subject. The foundation was was laid in grade school English classes with sentence diagramming. From there I learned proper grammar in English Composition and Creative Writing classes. As far as I can tell grammar is no longer taught in public schools. Apparently it isn’t taught in college journalism classes either.

  32. 32
    LC Grammar Czar, G.L.O.R. growls and barks:

    single stack says:

    . Apparently it isn’t taught in college journalism classes either.

    I taught grammar every semester, whether it was journalism, English composition, or whatever. Students are not learning it at the elementary and secondary levels, so colleges have to offer it as remedial. I’m sorry, but by the time you get to college, you should how a subject and verb function, at the VERY least.

    It’s a sad state of our educational system when the internationals we have know English grammar better than our home-grown.

  33. 33
    LC Grammar Czar, G.L.O.R. growls and barks:

    And, by the time we graduate from college, we should know how to proofread. Yeah, yeah. I left out a word. Sue me.

  34. 34
    LC Gunsniper growls and barks:

    Speaking of the vagaries of the English Gallagher explains it best. The fun starts at the 2:35 minute mark.

  35. 35
    LC/IB PrimEviL growls and barks:

    It was “led” when I went to school. Other conundrums regard plurals. If the plural of ‘house’ is
    ‘houses’, why isn’t the plural of ‘mouse’ ‘mouses’? If the plural of ‘goose’ is ‘geese’, then why isn’t
    the plural of ‘moose’ ‘meese’? Further, if a ram is a sheep, and an ass is a donkey, then why is a
    ram in the ass a ‘goose’?
    LC/IB PrimEviL recently posted..The Blonde and the AlligatorsMy Profile

  36. 36

    I think the past tense of Lead is Overtaken……

  37. 37
    single stack growls and barks:

    LC/IB PrimEviL @ #:

    “I hate meeces to pieces” – Mr. Jinks

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixie_and_Dixie_and_Mr._Jinks

  38. 38
    LC Trooper THX1138, Imperial Gadget Geek growls and barks:

    LC/IB PrimEviL @ 35:

    However, as the plural of mouse is mice, oughtn’t the plural of house be hice, and the plural of spouse be spice?

  39. 39
    FrankOK growls and barks:

    LC/IB PrimEviL says:

    It was “led” when I went to school. Other conundrums regard plurals. If the plural of ‘house’ is
    ‘houses’, why isn’t the plural of ‘mouse’ ‘mouses’? If the plural of ‘goose’ is ‘geese’, then why isn’t
    the plural of ‘moose’ ‘meese’? Further, if a ram is a sheep, and an ass is a donkey, then why is a
    ram in the ass a ‘goose’?
    LC/IB PrimEviL recently posted..The Blonde and the Alligators

    Another following the same logic:

    If motion produces friction and friction produces heat, how long would a bulldog have to hump a block of ice to make it boil?

    … but I digress … :em07:
    FrankOK recently posted..Oh – we’re making threats now?My Profile

  40. 40
    LC HJ Caveman82952 growls and barks:

    I’m doomed! I use ain’t a lot…being a troglodyte and all. I did learn those rules once, in a classroom far, far away. I just write the way I think or feel, generally not the way I speak…oh well, back to the mines with me…..

  41. 41
    rickn8or growls and barks:

    “…and the plural of spouse be spice?”

    No, the plural of spouse is “dangerous”.

    Things like this make English difficult.

  42. 42
    Secondmouse growls and barks:

    rickn8or says:

    “…and the plural of spouse be spice?”
    No, the plural of spouse is “dangerous”.
    Things like this make English difficult.

    I thought the plural of ‘spouse’ was ‘bankrupt’.

  43. 43
    single stack growls and barks:

    Secondmouse @ #:

    Nah, it’s insane

  44. 44
    Mark12A growls and barks:

    I’m driven almost to the point of giving a wedgie when someone refers to an “ATM Machine” or a “CAC Card”. The plural of “forum” is FORA, dammit.

    Thanks for letting me get that out.

  45. 45
    irish19 growls and barks:

    FrankOK @ #:
    ROTFLMFAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :em05:

  46. 46
    irish19 growls and barks:

    LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech @ #:
    Got dusty here all of a sudden.

  47. 47
    LC Darth Scoundrel growls and barks:

    NR Pax says:

    And while we are on the topic, beatings with a bamboo cane should be administered to people who seem to think that the word “lose” is spelled “loose.” Then there is my usual tirade about the apostrophe that is explained better by this person.

    And to make it worse, now they are trying to eliminate the apostrophe when indicating the possessive (cat’s feet is now cats feet).
    LC Darth Scoundrel recently posted..QOTDMy Profile

  48. 48
    Radical Redneck growls and barks:

    One of my pet peeves is when even intelligent people say a miscreant is hung when they get the rope.

    It’s hanged: hung is John Holmes or Ron Jeremy! :em07:

  49. 49
    WayneB growls and barks:

    BrendaK says:

    AND ‘disrespect’ IS NOT A VERB.

    Likewise, neither are Xerox nor Google.

  50. 50
    LC Grammar Czar, G.L.O.R. growls and barks:

    WayneB @ #:
    Actually, they are being accepted into the lexicon as verbs. it happens that way sometimes.

  51. 51
    Weyland growls and barks:

    at post 27
    LC Cheapshot911, Dept. of Redneck Tech growls and barks:
    May 26, 2012 at 9:04 am
    OT,
    ‘Not many words involved in this.
    None needed.

    Cheapshot, thanks for linking that vid, had me grinning from ear to ear! And keeping in the spirit of the post, would “Hooah!” be a noun, or a verb? :P

  52. 52

    Weyland says:

    would “Hooah!” be a noun, or a verb?

    My guess is ‘exclamation’.
    Same as wicking your Milwaukee Vibrator into a roar among the other mundanes.
    No real translation, but everybody knows JUST what you mean.