We’ve had other posts on the correct forms of the few irregular verbs that remain in English, but when I heard not one, but two television reporters–one in the field and one in the studio–declare that a boy “had drank” a bottle of vodka, I had to trot out the forms of the verb to drink.
Present tense: drink
Simple past: drank
Past participle: had or have drunk
Before anyone wants to explain the aberration as something that would be heard only on an Arkansas television channel, consider this opening paragraph from a story in the UK’s Telegraph:
Chloe Leach, 21, had drank around four cans of the energy drink and several VKs – a vodka based drink which also contains caffeine – when she suddenly fell to the floor in the Sugarmill club in Hull, East Yorks., on September 30 last year. (2 February 2009)
And this from the New York Times:
He loved Lee Alexander McQueen, had known him 20 years, had drank and cried with him. (2 April 2010)
We are living in the age of the disappearing copy editor. The buck stops at the writer’s desk.