Friday, September 19, 2008

Verb regularization sighted

You may have heard of the paper published about a year ago modeling when and why verbs regularize, that is, stop having irregular past tenses. (take->took is irregular, while jump->jumped is not) The basic idea is that the less frequently a verb is used, especially its past tense forms, the quicker speakers are to stop using the irregular form. Which makes sense, because those verbs are much easier for people to forget, and much easier for editors not to notice.

Well, in all the turmoil of this week's financial markets, what catches my attention the most? This:

Lending has grinded to a virtual standstill in the wake of the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers... [emphasis mine]

Now, maybe I've been living in a cave, but that's the first time I'd seen "grinded" instead of "ground" for the past tense in writing. Looks like that one's on the way out!

Oh, and I hope you got out of U.S. stocks and own some gold.

UPDATE: What a crock! They fundamentally revised the article at the link, removing even the sentence that I quoted. I didn't know I was linking to the Department of History Alteration or whatever Orwellian agency it is...

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