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The past ain’t what it used to be

November 28, 2011

File this one under my current pet peeves.

Since when did past tense verbs go out of style? I’m talking about those lovely English verbs whose conjugation followed a certain order. Not the standard order (adding -ed) but often a spelling order: swim, swam, swum; sing, sang, sung.

Lately I’ve seen reputable writers and sources using the past participle spelling for the past tense meaning. For example, “The choir sung the new piece last week.” And I notice that Merriam-Webster’s agrees that that example is acceptable. When did this happen? And, more important, why?

One Comment leave one →
  1. Buffy permalink
    December 1, 2011 11:20 p.12.

    No it aint!

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