Does Past Tense “Turnt” Have a Future?

A reader, commenting on one of my posts about the -ed past ending, suggests that turnt for turned may have a future: Where I live, more and more I’m hearing the word “turnt” used as a past tense version of “turned.” It’s a slang usage, obviously, and is used to describe food or drink that … Read more

We Gotta Use Words

In T.S. Eliot’s play, Sweeney Agonistes, Sweeney complains, “I gotta use words when I talk to you.” Every day, I see evidence that much of modern discourse doesn’t use words at all. Daily conversation and news outlets have become boiling vats of initialisms. Here are just a few of the ones studding the pages of … Read more

Data Is and Media Are

Some speakers continue to insist that the noun data must be used only as a plural, but the consensus is in. Although the singular of data is datum, in nonspecialized contexts, using data as a singular noun is acceptable. Both usages continue to occur, often in the same publications. When this data is directly accessible … Read more

Highlighted and Greenlit

A reader encountered the question of what past ending to use with the verb to highlight as in “to mark text with a highlighter” or “to cause something, such as text or an icon, to be displayed in a way that stands out on an electronic screen, as of a computer or smartphone.” I recently … Read more