According to John "Hindrocket" Hinderaker, "Snuck?", Powerline 11/27/2009:
Regular readers know that I have little regard for the New York Times. But I assumed that, no matter how misguided the paper's politics might be, it did have some standards relating to grammar and punctuation. So I was astonished to see this, on the front page of the Times' web site:
["The celebrity-seeking couple who snuck into a state dinner this week came face-to-face with President Obama and his wife, Michelle, the White House said Friday.]
My fifth-grade teacher, Miss Klock, would be spinning in her grave, except that she was a Republican and probably never had much faith in the Times in the first place. The reporters evidently knew better; here is how their piece begins:
The celebrity-seeking couple who sneaked into a state dinner this week came face-to-face with President Obama and his wife, Michelle, the White House said Friday in a disclosure that underscored the seriousness of the security breach and prompted an abject apology from the Secret Service.
The Oxford Dictionaries FAQ site has this to say on the subject ("Is 'snuck', as the past tense of 'sneak', a real word?"):
From the beginning, and still in standard British English, the past tense and past participle forms are sneaked. Just as mysteriously, in a little more than a century, a new past tense form, snuck, has crept and then rushed out of dialectal use in America, first into the areas of use that lexicographers label jocular or uneducated, and more recently, has reached the point where it is a virtual rival of sneaked in many parts of the English-speaking world. But not in Britain, where it is unmistakably taken to be a jocular or non-standard form.
Numbers from Mark Davies' Corpus of Contemporary American English confirm this judgment quantitatively (numbers are frequencies per million words):
And the same corpus shows a significant recent snuckward trend:
A similar trend is visible in Time Magazine (numbers are again frequencies per million words):
The pattern in the NYT is less clear — did a new copy-editor come on board in the mid-to-late 1990s? — but still, snuck has been getting about a fifth of the action over the past few years (numbers are counts of articles containing the word):
Mr. Hinderaker apparently believes that the evolution of species is "a rather obvious fraud, which cannot withstand the mildest scrutiny", and that "scientific support for [anthropogenic global warming] is weak", so the development of sneak as a strong verb is just one of several issues on which he can look forward to many years of increasingly enraptured outrage.
[Note: I was disappointed to find that John Hinderaker seems to have retired his nom de blog "Hindrocket". But please be assured that it's his own self-description, not a name-based insult created by others.]