The Past Tense of “Lead” Is Spelled “Led”

The past tense of the verb to lead (pronounced /leed/) gives some English-speakers as much trouble as the past tenses of lay and lie. The prevalence of past tense led misspelled as lead on amateur blogs and social media like Reddit is not surprising. To see the misspelling in the writing of professional journalists and … Read more

A Drabble, a Dribble—Short Fiction by Any Name

Not too long ago, in the Before Times, when I still dared attend large gatherings like writers’ conferences, I experienced the delight of winning first place in the Flash Fiction category at William Bernhardt’s Red Sneaker conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’d written the story sometime in the past, but had never done anything with it. … Read more

Connotation of “Ram” vs “Cram”

While browsing the web in search of royalty-free graphics, I came across a source described this way: This site does not host one unattractive image, it is rammed full with outstanding landscapes and breath-taking scenes of nature. What? Surely this blogger meant to say “crammed full.” Surely, no one else is confusing the verb ram … Read more

Misology and Other Words In the News

As an avid reader for more years than I care to mention, I have a reasonably large reading vocabulary, if I say so. During the past few months, however, I am encountering more and more unfamiliar words in my daily perusal of various newspapers and websites. My theory is that journalists, bored beyond endurance with … Read more