When you stride away, what is it that you've done?

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At some time in the middle 1970s, Deirdre Wilson and I noticed that we had never seen the past participle of the verb stride anywhere. In fact we didn't even know what it was. When you stride off, what is it that you've done? How would it be described? Have you strided? Have you strode? Have you stroded? Have you stridden? Have you strodden? We realized that we hadn't a clue. None of them sounded familiar or even mildly acceptable to us as native speakers. And this odd gap had some potential for theoretical significance. Let me explain why. And then I'll tell you how the world's most distinguished English grammarian stumbled across a real-life sentence that seemed to clear up the mystery. And I'll fill in a bit of subsequently discovered history as well. But first, before you read on, write down what you think is the correct form for the past participle of stride in English as spoken by you.

If you simply haven't a clue what to write down, then that supports what Deirdre Wilson and I originally wanted to make out of this strange case of a defective paradigm. Let me explain why. There is a small way in which it could be theoretically important whether, in a language with verbs and participles, there can be some verbs that accidentally lack certain participles. You see, in the 1950s and 1960s it was standard to assume — following Charles C. Fries's The Structure of English (1952) and Noam Chomsky's Syntactic Structures (1957) — that modal auxiliaries — can, may, and will, etc. — are members of a special part of speech called ‘Modal’, quite distinct from Verb. But not all linguists believed that. Otto Jespersen (perhaps the greatest grammarian of the first half of the 20th century) had regarded the modals as anomalous tensed verbs. And by the 1970s various more recent linguists (John R. Ross, James D. McCawley, and Rodney Huddleston, to name but three) had published arguments that the modals should instead be treated simply as verbs. Deirdre and I thought this latter Jespersenian view was the correct one.

It cannot be disputed that the modals are highly irregular verbs, of course. They utterly lack the usual 3rd person singular -s of regular verbs (it's he may, not *he mays). And they have no plain forms or participles at all — none of what The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language calls secondary forms. The modal verbs have only primary (tensed) forms: a present tense form and a preterite form. Note, for example, the contrast between the regular verb can meaning "seal into airtight metal canisters" and the can we're talking about here, which means "be able to":

 LEXICAL VERB canMODAL VERB can
PRESENT TENSEWe're proud that we can our own plums every year. We're proud that we can take vacations in Europe every year.
PRETERITE TENSEWe were proud that we canned our own plums back then.We were proud that we could take vacations in Europe back then.
PAST PARTICIPLEWe have often canned our own plums. *We have often canned take vacations in Europe.
GERUND PARTICIPLECanning plums is very pleasant.*Canning take vacations in Europe is very pleasant.

So the notion that the so-called Modal items are really just irregular verbs might be thought to gain a tiny piece of extra support if there are ordinary lexical verbs lacking participles. It means you have to allow for verbs that have missing parts of their paradigms anyway, regardless of whether you include the modals among the verbs, so it makes the modals look not quite so special among the verbs. That would be the relevance of discovering a verb that simply didn't have a past participle, which is what stride seemed to be.

Deirdre and I made this point in a 1977 paper (Geoffrey Pullum and Deirdre Wilson, "Autonomous syntax and the analysis of auxiliaries", Language 53, 741-788). If stride doesn't have a past participle, then a verb without a past participle is not a hitherto unknown circumstance, and thus if the modals all lack past participles it doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't verbs.

Now, quite coincidentally, and unknown to us at the time, it turned out that the defectiveness of stride had been independently mentioned by Archibald A. Hill in an obituary for Albert Henry Marckwardt published in the very same journal as our paper, Language, the year before (52 [1976], 667-681 — it appeared after our paper was in press). Hill had been asked about the missing past participle by Marckwardt some fifty years before. Said Hill: "I have been listening ever since for an example of this curiously non-existent form" (p. 668).

Fast forward a quarter of a century, and the inflectional morphology chapter of The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (page 1605) said that the answer might be stridden but the form was "very dubious and may not occur". So various people had been unsuccessfully watching for the occurrence of this word form for at least 70 years. At Vocaboly a small amount of subsequent research was done on this by David Picton, who concludes that I have strode may be taking over from I have stridden.

Well, Rodney Huddleston, the world's most distinguished English grammarian, recently got back from his vacation in the Andes (his idea of relaxing in his seventies is to hike up to Machu Picchu), and was relaxing a couple of weeks ago by reading a detective novel by Elizabeth George (Careless in Red, 2008) when he suddenly came upon this (p.109):

Alan said he'd fetch someone at once to see what Cadan was meant to be doing. He'd stridden off after unlocking the front door, letting them both in, and pocketing the keys with the air of a man who knew exactly where his place was in the scheme of things.

After more than thirty years, Rodney had found a naturally attested example of stridden (settling the question of whether we were right to say in CGEL that it "may not occur" anymore: we were not right, it does sometimes occur).

There is hardly anything new under the sun, however. Unknown to Huddleston and Palmer, and to me until just the other day when a lucky Google hit turned it up on Jstor, an article had been published on the topic some 28 years ago as a follow-up to Hill's remark: "The past participle of stride" by H. B. Woolf (American Speech, 55 [1980], 298-301). Woolf cites a number of other instances of past participle forms for stride that he was able to track down in Merriam-Webster's files. They confirm the existence of a certain amount of variation and uncertainty.

From 1902, Merriam-Webster had found a citation of Owen Wister in The Virginian writing "Illness had stridden upon him", but from 1936 they had found Rebecca West in The Thinking Reed writing "So from youth he had strode through the twenty-four hours at the pace of a Marathon race". From 1950 there is a Publishers' Weekly article with "had strode down the aisle", and from 1951 an essay by Robert Lynd with "had strode past her", but in 1970 they find Loren Eisley writing in Playboy "he had stridden up the stairs".

So the past participle suddenly noticed by Rodney Huddleston, as he sat reading on the back patio of his house overlooking the South Pacific at Noosa in Queensland, was not utterly without precedent. Stridden does naturally occur, just occasionally. And it is the commonest form: strode (universally accepted as the preterite tense form, of course) is somewhat rarer as the past participle according to Woolf (though if Picton is right this is slowly changing).

But even stridden is very rare. I myself had been waiting since the Ford administration to encounter an occurrence on the hoof, in naturally occurring speech or writing, and I still have never spotted or heard one in natural use myself. Nor have I heard have strode.

If one or both are to be counted as occurring in Standard English, there is a tiny little piece of potential support to be subtracted from the case for treating Modals as verbs (though it doesn't matter much: in my view there is a massive case for that analysis anyway).

But looking back, I see that it probably never was good enough evidence. As our colleague Frank Palmer pointed out to Huddleston and me by email, there is a difference between the modals and the verb stride. When you read something like He'd stridden off after unlocking the front door you find yourself thinking "Oh, so that's the past participle of stride", if you even notice it at all; but if you were to read *He'd mayed work from home since negotiating a telecommuting agreement several months before, you just think "Unh??". The former is very rare but we feel it is at least possible; the latter seems impossible. For modals like may, the participles are not just unusual but absolutely nonexistent and impossible.

If there are any lexical verbs that lack certain participles, it is merely by historical accidents of participles falling out of use. It isn't like that the case of the modals. They represent a special kind of verb that lacks participles completely, systematically, and irredeemably.

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81 Comments »

  1. Estel said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 7:50 am

    My first thought was "stridden, of course", but then I started to wonder if I might actually use "strided" (hmm, that sounded good for a while but now it sounds bad). Now off to read the rest of the post.

  2. Morgan said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 7:53 am

    "May", "can" and "will" all have near-identical equivalents in the modern Scandinavian tongues, though the modern meaning of "vill" is different and the other tenses of "må" are fallen out of use/obsolete. I wonder if it's a case of Swedish re-creating those other tenses since the time when the word was borrowed in whichever direction, or whether they subsequently fell out of use in / didn't make it over to English. My world was rocked when I first learned the additional tenses of "kunna"/"kan" in Swedish.

  3. Steven Messamer said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 8:07 am

    Since the form is so rare, isn't it likely that it's produced de novo when it's needed in a sentence: stridden by analogy to drive or bestride?

    For me, the only remotely possible form is strode "he had strode"; probably influenced by the past perfect uses I heard growing up: "she had drove", "they would have went", etc.

  4. Don said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 8:14 am

    Can't etymology help in cases like this? Stride comes from OE stridan, ride comes from OE ridan, smite comes from OE smitan, hide comes from OE hydan, so doesn't that suggest stride should follow their pattern and become stridden?

  5. Paul said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 8:15 am

    How odd.

    I grew up in the UK until age ten and was taught 'strode'.

    Never thought anything about it until now.

    P.

  6. Chris Brew said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 8:15 am

    "Strided" is quite heavily used in contexts like

    Method for ensuring maximum bandwidth on accesses to strided vectors in a bank- interleaved cache

    One-strided waggle dance in bees.

    which of course doesn't count for present purposes, since this adjectival usage
    would correspond to transitive verbs, as in: "Minion, have you strided that memory access yet?"

  7. Skullturf Q. Beavispants said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 8:16 am

    I remember learning French as a second language in school, and being faced with tables for the conjugation of verbs. I remember being intrigued and amused by the fact that there were blanks in the tables: the verb "pouvoir" ("to be able") had a blank space for the imperative tense. You can't issue the command "Peut!" (I don't know French well enough to know if "pouvoir" is considered a bona fide verb, or something else.)

  8. Jeremy said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 8:17 am

    Even ignoring participles, "I will stride" sounds totally fine, while there is no way that that would ever work with the modals.

  9. Jesse Tseng said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 8:28 am

    Morgan: There was no borrowing here, but preservation of the same old Germanic roots in Swedish and English. But to answer your question, the English modals used to have a full set of forms (incl. infinitive, present/past participles). This system survived into Early Modern English, but then broke down for reasons that another commenter may will can provide.

  10. Steve said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 8:32 am

    As a Southern British speaker of English, my immediate reaction was 'of course there's a past participle – stride, strode, stridden'. Rarely used, admittedly, but how ever often I say it, I can't make it sound wrong, though 'I have strode' sounds as weird to my ears as 'I have went'. I wouldn't like to claim that I have ever actually used it, but I have always felt that it was available for use.

    I have just conducted a straw poll, of five (British) English teachers, who all instantly replied that the correct past participle was 'stridden' and all of them thought 'strode' sounded wrong, though they all also agreed that it was very rare.

    The Oxford Dictionary (a short one – I haven't the full OED to hand) does say that 'stride' is 'not used in the perfect', but the Longmans and Macmillan Dictionaries both list 'stridden' as the past participle without further comment.

    All of which would seem to suggest that while it may be true that 'stride' has no past participle in American English, in British English it does, and it's 'stridden' – though no one would dispute that it's very rare.

    I also feel that 'bestride' has a past participle 'bestridden', which sounds to me somewhat less rare than 'stridden' does.

  11. Steve said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 8:49 am

    By the way, whether or not 'stride' has a past participle, my own instinct would be to agree that modals are essentially verbs (though very irregular ones), and if it is right, as Morgan says above, that they are more fully conjugated in Scandanavian languages, that would seem to both offer evidence that this view is correct, and also provide a possible route for investigating the historical process by which they evolved into their present forms in English.

  12. Andrew West said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 8:55 am

    I'm puzzled as to why you think that stride may not have a past participle. It seems that dictionaries since the 18th century have regularly given "stridden" as the past participle of stride. And it is not hard to find examples using Google Book Search, e.g. "what Boughs he hath over-stridden" from The Gentleman's Recreation (London, 1721).

  13. John said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 8:55 am

    This reminds me of the fact that in Russian, there are a couple of nouns which lack a genitive plural form (but have all the usual forms, including a genitive singular). The word for "poker" (the thing you find by a fireplace) is one of them.

    Cross-linguistically, I wonder how common it is to have lexical items like these that simply lack one or two of the usual morphological forms.

  14. Chris said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 8:56 am

    I also settled on "stridden" before looking at the rest of the post – I suppose by analogy with "hide" and "ride", since I don't recall ever having seen it used.

    What about "ought"? It seems to me to not work in the same kinds of constructions where the modals don't (and in addition doesn't even have a simple past tense).

  15. Wimbrel said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 9:14 am

    Not sure about the fireplace poker example. But the defective verb that traditionally amuses Russian schoolchildren is победить, the perfective form of "to be victorious." The first person future can only be expressed via circumlocution: одержу победу, "will achieve victory," or something similar.

  16. outeast said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 9:17 am

    I, too, immediately thought 'stridden'.

    The thing that really struck me here, though, was the idea of striding up a staircase. That suggests a disconnect as least between how I understand 'stride' and how Loren Eisley did… Anyone else find that odd? (Sorry that's OT.)

  17. Virtual Linguist said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 9:36 am

    Stridden seems to be more of a British English usage. It's appeared (not often, admittedly) in the major broadsheets within the past year:
    Guardian: … why someone of his complexion has stridden from the back of the bus to the driving seat (Aug 29, 2008)
    Telegraph: … a beefy waitress who was acting as if we'd just stridden boldly into her bedroom (May 30, 2008)
    (London) Times: Would he have been quite so renowned as a playwright had Richard III stridden onto the stage and announced … (Feb 17, 2008)
    Independent: She would have stridden forward without a hint of contrition (November 27, 2007)

  18. Randy said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 9:42 am

    This reminds of biblical Greek (and possibly other Greeks, though I have only studied the former) where there are _deponent_ verbs, verbs which have no active forms, but only middle of passive forms with active meaning. Examples are ginomai and erchomai (the e stands for epsilon, the o's stand for omicrons), meaning I become and I come/I go.

    One time I heard someone say, "I used to could do that." It's wrong in at least two different ways when you analyze it, but she did manage to get a "plain" form out of "can". Despite it's incorrectness, I didn't have the same it-just-sounds-wrong reaction to it that I would to a lot of other grammar mistakes.

  19. Sky Onosson said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 9:46 am

    I thought (and still think) that "stridden" must be the correct form, although "strode" as past participle also seems possible. Admittedly, it is a rarity in natural speech, but then it seems to me that there are very few verbs describing locomotion (I can't think of any at the moment) which do not take the standard -ed past ending – and all of those regular-past locomotion verbs, of course, would have identical (and predictable) forms for both simple past and past participle. It follows that it would never be problematic for people to create the past participle for these, regardless of the actual frequency of occurence of the participle forms.

    On the subject of the modals, the question regarding their status makes me wonder: what is the substantive difference between assigning them a separate category distinct from verbs vs. describing them as "a special kind of verb that lacks participles completely, systematically, and irredeemably"? Are these not just two ways of stating essentially the same thing?

  20. Aaron Davies said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 9:55 am

    @Jesse

    This system survived into Early Modern English, but then broke down for reasons that another commenter may will can provide.

    You win the internets, as the kids say.

  21. John Baker said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 9:56 am

    The Century Dictionary gives "stridden" and "strid" as the past participle forms of "stride." It turns out to be surprisingly difficult to Google for "strid" – apparently it's a more common surname than I would have supposed – so I don't have a sense of how common it is in practice.

  22. Charles Gaulke said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 10:35 am

    I seem more or less alone in having immediately thought of "strode" as the past participle, a conclusion I reached not by any analogy but because it's the form I could recall having seen before. Strangely, though, as confident as I am that I've seen it, I couldn't say where and was actually starting to wonder if I actually had encountered it before the end of the article. Searching in books on A9 for "had strode" turns up examples but not, as far as I've found, in books I've actually read. It's quite surprising to learn that "stridden" is the more common version since it sounds totally alien to me even though it does make more sense by analogy to ride, hide, etc.

  23. Andrew West said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 10:38 am

    "strid" as past participle sounds wrong to me. Samuel Johnson gives "strid" as an alternative for "strode" as past tense of "stride", and "stridden" as the past participle. And "Stride, strode, stridden" is the paradigm given in Robert Lowth's 1794 Short Introduction to English Grammar.

  24. language hat said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 10:58 am

    I am American and spontaneously produced stridden (which I'm pretty sure I've actually used in speech); so did my wife, though since she had a British-born father her testimony may be tainted. At any rate, it is clearly a ridiculous overstatement to say it does not exist or is never used. The OED says, quite properly, "The pa. pple. rarely occurs."

    Can't etymology help in cases like this? Stride comes from OE stridan, ride comes from OE ridan, smite comes from OE smitan, hide comes from OE hydan, so doesn't that suggest stride should follow their pattern and become stridden?

    No. If etymology were destiny, the plural of book would be beech. The usage of King Alfred over a millennium ago is irrelevant to the facts of current English.

    This reminds me of the fact that in Russian, there are a couple of nouns which lack a genitive plural form (but have all the usual forms, including a genitive singular). The word for "poker" (the thing you find by a fireplace) is one of them.

    You're thinking of кочерга [kochergá] 'poker,' which has a perfectly good genitive plural, кочерёг [kocheryóg]. But it's not often used and isn't intuitively obvious, so Russians can have a hard time coming up with it, as in a famous Zoshchenko story from 1939, "The Poker," in which a factory director is trying to order five pokers (the numbers five and above requiring the genitive plural for the following noun) and in dictating his letter says "I urgently request the shipping of five… What the hell? I don't remember how to write it: five koche… Three kochergi is clear. Four kochergi, no problem. But five.. what? Five…" The secretary tries to help by running through the declension: "Who, what? kocherga. Of whom, of what? kochergi. To whom, to what? kocherge…" But when he gets to the plural, the secretary says it's swirling around in his head and he can't remember it. Finally a clever member of the staff rewords it so it reads "We have six stoves and need a separate poker for each of them rather than the one we have now, so we need an additional five." A very funny story.

    One time I heard someone say, "I used to could do that." It's wrong in at least two different ways when you analyze it, but she did manage to get a "plain" form out of "can". Despite it's incorrectness, I didn't have the same it-just-sounds-wrong reaction to it that I would to a lot of other grammar mistakes.

    No, no, no, no. It is not "incorrect" or "wrong" just because it's not part of your dialect. It is a perfectly good construction common in southern dialects; since I have Ozark forebears I am familiar with it and sometimes use it myself. English is a house of many mansions; let's try not to pare it down to a puny one-room hut, eh?

  25. Geoffrey K. Pullum said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 11:49 am

    Truly strange how carelessly some people read. One commenter above says: "I'm puzzled as to why you think that stride may not have a past participle. It seems that dictionaries since the 18th century have regularly given "stridden" as the past participle of stride." But I don't think it may not have a past participle; the whole point of the post above is that there is one, remember? And I was never in doubt about whether dictionaries since the 18th century had covered it. I'm concerned with contemporary Standard English in the 21st century, not lexicography in the 18th. The whole point about what I thought in the 1970s is that I didn't know whether current speakers and writers had a past participle for this verb — and indeed, that I didn't even know whether *I* had one. It wasn't about whether people had such a form in the 1700s, which the OED could immediately tell me. But Language Hat is right, etymology is not the slightest bit relevant here — you learn the language of your peers, not your great-great-great-great grandparents. (By the way, never think that the OED can settle an issue of current usage. A whole lot of it is something like a hundred years old, and the thing about the second edition is that you don't always know which bits have been revised and which haven't.)

  26. Chris Waigl said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 11:56 am

    Non-native speaker here. I'm about 90% sure that 'stride' was present on the 'irregular verbs' I had to learn by heart as a teenager, with the series 'stride, strode, stridden'. This was in the 80s in Germany.

    Not that I've ever actually employed 'stridden' (though 'strode' for the past tense, certainly).

  27. Adrian said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 12:11 pm

    strided

  28. Robert Coren said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

    In response to Chris: "What about "ought"? It seems to me to not work in the same kinds of constructions where the modals don't (and in addition doesn't even have a simple past tense)." I don't pretend to any expertise in these matters, but I would, in fact, be inclined to count "ought" among the modals; it seems to me that the most salient characteristic of these forms is that they require another verb in order to function (and I imagine there's more precise terminology to describe that characteristic).

  29. Adrian said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 12:15 pm

    strided. Stridden sounds like a mistake for "striven". In fact, these two verbs appear to be diverging, possibly for the sake of disambiguation:

    stride – strode – strided
    strive – strived – striven

  30. John Laviolette said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 12:41 pm

    @Adrian:

    Strange, I don't think I could ever accept a mid-paradigm switch from variation of vowel, as in the old strong verbs, to addition of a suffix without internal vowel variation, as in regular verbs. So, I could accept hearing someone say "I have stridden" or "I have strode" or even "I have strod", without being certain which was was correct, buy "I have strided" seems wrong, to me, given the past tense "strode".

  31. Nigel Greenwood said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 12:42 pm

    At my UK gliding club (where we fly gliders/sailplanes, as opposed to hang-gliders etc), a substantial minority of speaker use "glid" as the past tense of "glide" — sometimes slightly facetiously, but often quite naturally. The PP is weak (glided), though in practice it doesn't seem to be used much: eg "How long have you been gliding?" rather than the rather stiff & formal "How long have you glided?"

    No one uses the archaic past tense "glode" mentioned in the OED.

  32. Bill Walderman said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 1:03 pm

    This is off-topic and maybe not as interesting from a syntactic point of view, but another verb that exhibits a participial curiosity is "strike." Consulting my internal lexicon, I find "struck" in the sense of "hit," "occur to" or "reach" (an agreement, bargain, etc.) but "stricken" in the sense of "delete" or "afflict."

  33. kip said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 1:03 pm

    I made a mental note of "strode" at the beginning of the article.. Though I can't say it sounded all that natural.

  34. John Laviolette said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 1:07 pm

    @Nigel:

    Exactly… you and your colleagues only mix the paradigms as a joke, but otherwise treat "glide" as a fully regular verb (glide/glided/has glided,) which would be the way I would do it, too. And actually, if I heard someone use "strided" as the past tense, it wouldn't bother me much. It's the mixing of paradigms — switching from "strode" back to "has strided" — that bothers me.

  35. Chris said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 1:31 pm

    I wonder… among people who've never seen the word "stridden" before, if one person might be certain of "stridden" purely by analogy, while another might feel uncertain because their analogy engine works a little differently there. That could say something interesting about how we choose analogical words to generalize from, but it could be a tricky thing to study.

    Personally, I'm ambivalent between strode and stridden; but they both sound wrongish, and I'm not sure if I've ever seen the word before.

  36. Gwillim Law said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 1:41 pm

    I checked the Corpus of Contemporary American English (360 million words, 1990-2007) and the British National Corpus (100 million words, roughly 1988-92) for "strode", "stridden", "strided", and "strid" as past participles. The COCA has six such instances of "strode", two of "stridden", and none of "strided" or "strid". The BNC has at least five of "strode", one "stridden", no "strided" or "strid".

    One more data point: I am a native speaker of American English and would have chosen "stridden".

  37. Simon Tatham said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 2:08 pm

    Data point: Terry Pratchett's Pyramids at one point reviews the reign of a past king including the phrase "Number of times world bestrode like colossus = 0". OK, that's used as a past participle of bestride rather than stride, but one would naturally expect them to conjugate similarly. Probably.

  38. Robert E. Harris said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 2:29 pm

    I googled these: "he had strode" 1490 hits; "he had stridden" 473 hits; "he had strided" 8 hits.

    I asked my wife (Patricia Harris, the resident linguist) and got, "If we could find which of the seven classes of irregular verbs it came from, … I suppose strided, as verbs tend to regularize. If I had to write it, I'd avoid it." "He had huffed down the road" was her offered substitution.

  39. Jean-Sébastien Girard said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 2:30 pm

    re: "strid" one can find a few (exactly 2, to be precise) quotes wit the strings "have strid" or "has strid". "have strid" for soe reason, brings a whole lot of danish stuff…

  40. Randy said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 2:43 pm

    'No, no, no, no. It is not "incorrect" or "wrong" just because it's not part of your dialect. It is a perfectly good construction common in southern dialects; since I have Ozark forebears I am familiar with it and sometimes use it myself. English is a house of many mansions; let's try not to pare it down to a puny one-room hut, eh?'

    Oh calm down! In my memory, the instance I reported above was the first time I had heard in my life. I was 21 or 22 at the time. Now, at 31, with few exceptions, the only times I've heard it are when I've said it myself, because I quite like the construction. If "wrong" is the wrong word for me to have used (or perhaps "wrong" is a perfectly good word in my dialect for what you think I should have said), then is it acceptable for me to say that it's anamolous in at least two different ways, relative to, well, any other dialect of English that I've heard. Or does that still sound too down-to-puny-one-room-hut-paring to you? However you want to say it. There is no other construction that I can recall ever having heard of that would use "to + past tense of verb" (or preterite, or whatever "could" is relative to "can") modal verb or otherwise, southern dialect or otherwise. I can't even see how it would work with the other modals. I've also heard "might could", though I can't be sure that I've heard it from anyone other than Cletis the Slack-jawed Yokel.

    How obscure, localized, or unique to a small group of people, possibly only one, does something have to be before it can be considered wrong? Or at least so that one does not get bombarded with a barage of no's when they say it is "wrong". Shall I never be able to claim that something is grammatically wrong again, out of the slight possibility that somebody I've never heard of in some place that I've never been might be using it perfectly well in their own idiolect? Even if the construction I referred to above is common in the South, I almost never hear that construction.

    Though I cannot be perfectly certain that no other dialect uses that construction perfectly well, I do believe that by claiming it to be wrong, I have not pared the language to a hut with any number of rooms, but at worst a mansion with a broken window in a room inside of which are people who don't venture much outside of that room and haven't made much use of the intercom.

    Forgive me.

    'At my UK gliding club (where we fly gliders/sailplanes, as opposed to hang-gliders etc), a substantial minority of speaker use "glid" as the past tense of "glide" — sometimes slightly facetiously, but often quite naturally.'

    When I am searching my mind for the past tense of "snow", "snew" seems to come to mind before "snowed". I've never heard it anywhere else (though perhaps it is a perfectly good word common in southern dialects). Sometimes I use the word, as if I am trying be facetious, though secretly, I am not.

    If I want a past participle for "stride", I might just say "have taken strides" to avoid having to make a choice, much, though not exactly, like "to be able to" and "to have to" might be used where plain forms of "can" or "shall" would be used if they existed.

  41. Sili said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 2:46 pm

    My nonnative intuition was for "stridden" patterned on "ride/ridden". Reading through all these comments, it's still the one that 'feels' most natural.

    Then again, I seem to think that it's getting more common to use a ppP identical to the preterite (warning! recency and frequency illousion). It's obviously not reason judging from some of the examples given upthread, so it's prolly a matter of my reading far more non-standard English these days. And unedited at that, so people might be changing their mind midsentence.

    That said "I have rode all my life" sounds wrong to me. And "I did used to like bananas" jars ridiculously on my ears.

    On the other hand – a coupla years ago I was puzzled to encounter "leaped" where I'd have used "leapt" (for the ppP or "leap").

  42. Joe said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 2:54 pm

    My first reaction, before I read the full article, was "strode." But seeing all the other people give different answers makes me wonder. I would guess that it's never used, so everyone tries to make up whatever sounds the most regular to their ear. I mean, it's not as though verbs like walk lack participles.

    Moreover, even if we disagree on whether it should be strode, stridden or what have you, we know that it has some meaning. I'm hard pressed to find a sentence like "Canning take vacations in Europe is very pleasant." meaningful, even if I suppose that you can rewrite it as "Being able to take vacations in Europe is very pleasant."

  43. Jack Collins said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 3:22 pm

    Before can became a modal, its primary meaning meant "to know," (a meaning which its Scots cognate ken retains). It's present participle was cunning!

  44. David Eddyshaw said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

    John:

    I think that several of the more flamboyantly inflected Indo-European languages have numbers of words which simply lack one or other inflected form for no very obvious reason. Latin and Classical Greek certainly. [vis, vim, vi!]

    I imagine this is a feature of the synthetic and unusually suppletive character of Indo-European languages, with their plethora of inflexions expressing several things at once (plural AND genitive, first person AND singular AND future, whatever) and fondness for expressing the same thing with several quite unrelated morphemes in all those different conjugations and declensions. I would guess that it's rare in a language like Turkish with a much more transparent structure.

    The "stridden" thing is a case in point, with Germanic strong verbs preserving exciting ablaut phenomena from the dim prehistory of Indo-European. IIRC even in Old English where the strong verbs can still be more-or-less arranged in sort-of-regular conjugations, you still end up with seven different groups of them and lots of exceptions. I suppose the wonder is that there aren't *more* gaps in our paradigms, rather than that there are a few.

  45. mollymooly said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 3:50 pm

    A problem with citing instances from the Guardian, or any other printed source, is that the author or an intervening editor may have appealed to the dictionary for the "correct" form. While I would hesitate to use a dictionary to settle a dispute with someone else, I will freely resort to it to clear up an uncertainty in my own mind.

    The nineteenth-century lexicographers may have chanced on one or two instances of "stridden" in their reading lists, or may even have relied on personal introspection; once it's down in black and white, it will gradually acquire a legitimacy that becomes self-reinforcing.

    But this only works in edited texts; the acid test for the purposes of Geoff Pullum's original post would be what a native speaker produces unassisted (in speech or personal writing). The COBUILD and SARA corpuses have no spoken instances to help decide this.

  46. Skullturf Q. Beavispants said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 4:21 pm

    One could probably make the case that "mongoose" is similar to "stride": more specifically, it could be argued that as a practical matter, in contemporary everyday English, there isn't a plural form for which there's a "consensus" among the immediate intuitions of native speakers.

    I'm pretty sure (without looking it up right now) that "mongooses" is what the dictionaries say, and I admit it "feels" more correct to me than "mongeese" (which my spell checker underlines in red), but the fact remains: "mongoose" is an unremarkable item of the everyday language, but there's a reasonable case to be made that practically speaking, "mongooses" isn't actually part of the everyday language. The language as it stands has a "hole".

  47. Bloix said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 4:22 pm

    mollymooly- the reason Geoff has this problem is that "stride" as a verb is almost never spoken. It's somewhat archaic and is either a sign of a facetious, mock-heroic style, or as a signal that the person who strides is pompous and self-important. This sort of arch usage is characteristic of the written word, so listening for what a native speaker produces is likely to a be a vain endeavor – as Mr. Hill found after 50 years of effort.

  48. Randy said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 5:01 pm

    "Before can became a modal, its primary meaning meant "to know," (a meaning which its Scots cognate ken retains). It's present participle was cunning!"

    Are you sure about the Scots cognate?

    My dictionary gives Old English "cunnan" as the etymology of English "can", while it gives Old English "cennan" as the etymology of both English and Scots "ken" (as a noun, it is still an English word meaning range of sight or knowledge). The dictionary confirms the formerly primary meaning of "can" as knowledge, but contradicts your claim that it is a cognate of the modern Scots word.

    Furthermore, Frisian, Dutch, and German all have separate but similar looking words for "to be able to" and "to know". In Frisian they are "kinne" (to be able to) and "kenne" (to know). In Dutch they are "kunnen" (to be able to) "kennen" (to know). In German they are "können" (to be able to) "kennen" (to know). The similarity between the English and Scots, Dutch, German, and Frisian words for "to know", and difference for the words "to be able to" suggests further that modern Scots "ken" is not a cognate of modern English "can".

    Are the types of knowledge known different for each of the two words? Given their current meanings, is it possible that "cunnan" meant how-to knowledge, while "cennan" meant factual knowledge?

  49. language hat said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 5:22 pm

    If "wrong" is the wrong word for me to have used …, then is it acceptable for me to say that it's anamolous in at least two different ways, relative to, well, any other dialect of English that I've heard.

    When I got to that, I was all set to apologize to you and explain that decades of seeing and hearing thoughtless putdowns of the South and its dialects and folkways have made me hypersensitive on the subject, and sure, if all you meant was "anomalous" then I have no problem with that… but then I got to this:

    I've also heard "might could", though I can't be sure that I've heard it from anyone other than Cletis the Slack-jawed Yokel.

    How obscure, localized, or unique to a small group of people, possibly only one, does something have to be before it can be considered wrong? Or at least so that one does not get bombarded with a barage of no's when they say it is "wrong"

    And I lost my sympathy and my urge to apologize. You really don't get it, do you? You still think "used to could" and "might could" are wrong, wrong, wrongety-wrong, used by "a small group of people, possibly only one," and deserving of your scorn. They are used by millions of perfectly intelligent people who just don't happen to live in your neck of the woods. And a word to the wise: a reference to Cletus [n.b.] the Slack-jawed Yokel does not make you look like an unbiased observer. I will refrain from making the comparison to similar ethnic/cultural stereotypes for fear of overheating the comment section, but I don't appreciate it one bit.

  50. Jim said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 6:00 pm

    Just an off the cuff remark – I'm interested that we have this problem with stride and glide, as mentioned in a post above. It occurs to me that I have the same lack of native speaker intuition about what the past participle of "slide" might be. Slid/slided/slidden etc. all sound wrong. Is there something phonetic happening here?

  51. Mapuser said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 6:02 pm

    Seems strangely coincidental that "slide" was subjected to the same question on Friday: http://blogs.jsonline.com/language/

  52. mollymooly said,

    October 20, 2008 @ 6:40 pm

    "stride" as a verb is almost never spoken.
    I don't think that's true; "stride", "strides", and "striding" are not uncommon, though "strode" is rarer. What is true is that the past participle is almost never spoken; but even at that I'm not sure it's written with any greater relative frequency tahn it's spoken.

    On another point: The Economist ("To sir, with confusion" Aug 13th 1998) has: "Into this bewilderment has strode a voice of more-or-less clarity, an ennobled one, no less." [emphasis added]

  53. Joe Fineman said,

    October 21, 2008 @ 12:14 am

    Likewise, I have always wondered what the (many) people who have "dove" for the preterite of "dive" do for the past participle. One would expect "diven" on the analogy of "drive", but I have never heard it — or "dove" either. "I've — of that end a zillion times and never hit bottom": how would *you* fill the blank? This puzzle is the main reason I continue to make it dive, dived, dived, schoolbook fashion.

    If you want examples of declensions & conjugations with holes in them, I suggest you look at Latin, which seems to be full of them. There is even a technical term for such nouns & verbs in traditional grammar: "defective".

  54. Don said,

    October 21, 2008 @ 2:11 am

    Sorry to bring up etymology again, but this has been bothering me all day for some reason.

    If you're just taking a poll, I'd say stridden. But I think the interesting question isn't what I'd say, but why I'd say it. I guess I responded off-topic because I was thinking about my own reasons for saying stridden.

    I would say stridden because I'm comparing stride to hide and ride. If you would say strided, you might be comparing it to guide or glide. Either way, we're making educated guesses based on an assumption that words can be related to one another. Doesn't that mean we're all using etymology to arrive at our answers?

    My original post nearly asserts that the shared Old English origins alone can decide the issue, which is wrong. Ride and glide are both from Old English, but one is irregular in modern English and one isn't. (How'd that happen?) However, it might at least let us rule out stroded or help us understand our choice, whatever it is.

  55. chris said,

    October 21, 2008 @ 6:22 am

    The Google hits definitely suggest that "strode" is much more commonly used in actual writing, yet most people here seem to have opted for "stridden" when asked to consider the issue. There may be dialectal variation here – American English outweighs British English on the internet by a considerable margin, so an American preference for "strode" could explain the ratio of hits. However, I'm also wondering if there is a difference between what people would write on the spur of the moment and what they come up with when they sit down and think about it abstractly – and start considering questions of etymology and "correctness".

    Interestingly, the Google hits for "bestrode" vs. "bestridden" seem to be just as emphatically skewed in favour of "bestridden".

    Another point: while trying to work out which participle form I would prefer, I found myself speculating about what tense forms the past participle could possibly occur in. I found it almost impossible to imagine a situation where the present perfect might be used, but the past perfect seemed much more likely. So I wasn't surprised to see that all but three of the examples "from the wild" listed here do indeed use that form. The improbability of situations where it could be used in the present perfect might account for its rarity.

  56. Nigel Greenwood said,

    October 21, 2008 @ 7:05 am

    @Don:

    I would say stridden because I'm comparing stride to hide and ride. If you would say strided, you might be comparing it to guide or glide.

    I'd guess that the existence of the relatively common strode for the past tense has some bearing on the matter, too. That's probably why I tend to favour stridden.

    As the contributor who brought up "glid" (sorry, those italic tags are a pita to type), I should add that by no means all those who say "glid" do so facetiously: it all depends on their linguistic sophistication (the less sophisticated the speaker the less facetious the usage). And why does this form occur so frequently at our club? Well, obviously because it's a high-frequency verb in our little world — & somehow "glided" sounds a bit like what any old member of the public would say. "Glid" (I conjecture) makes you sound more of an insider.

  57. language hat said,

    October 21, 2008 @ 8:54 am

    I would say stridden because I'm comparing stride to hide and ride. If you would say strided, you might be comparing it to guide or glide. Either way, we're making educated guesses based on an assumption that words can be related to one another. Doesn't that mean we're all using etymology to arrive at our answers?

    That's an extremely acute question. The answer is no, because the etymology is the actual history of the word, which is unknown to us unless we look it up; what we're going by is the pattern of the contemporary English language, which is a mix of historical continuity, analogy, borrowing, and so on. A good example is the verb strive, which, having been borrowed from French, "should" have a weak conjugation, and yet the strong conjugation (strove, striven) is earlier and more common; pattern clearly trumped history, as it often does.

  58. language hat said,

    October 21, 2008 @ 8:55 am

    And of course until quite recently there were no accurate etymological dictionaries, so people had nothing to go on but observed patterns.

  59. MaW said,

    October 21, 2008 @ 9:34 am

    Interesting. An informal poll of my British English-speaking friends gave a 100% return for 'strode', which is the same as I thought myself (but then I speak British English too). I would recognise 'stridden' but I wouldn't count it as part of my dialect.

    I would have argued before I read this that 'stridden' was the obsolete form and 'strode' the modern one, but perhaps it's not, or perhaps, as it was suggested that 'strode' might be becoming more common, I'm actually ahead of the language curve for once. Usually I'm the one telling people off for using 'thru' although I suspect that will be standard English one day.

  60. Jeremy said,

    October 21, 2008 @ 11:44 am

    Just came across this. :)

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/10/19/america/palin.php?WT.mc_id=glob_mrktg_lead&WT.mc_ev=click

    "You rock me out, Sarah," yelled one man, wearing a red-checked hunting jacket as Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, *strode* into an airplane hangar here on Thursday.

  61. Achim said,

    October 21, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

    ESL speaker here: stridden was my clear choice, and I modelled it on ride. But my intuitions are those of a linguist (albeit no longer in the profession) who has been enchanted by the ablaut paradigms in his first semester at university and followed the patterns through Old and Middle High German, Old English, Old Norse… Years ago, I did actually make some kind of a statistic analysis as to how well the different patterns have survived in the different languages with the intent to investigate the psycholinguistic aspects of this bit of morphology. But eventually I looked into other topics while a PhD student, and now these notes are lost.

    Strengthening weak verbs is fun ;-)

  62. language hat said,

    October 21, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

    Just came across this. :)

    That's an example of the past tense, about which there is no controversy.

  63. jheintzman said,

    October 21, 2008 @ 4:12 pm

    Wasn't Cecil Rhodes said to have "…strode the world like a Colossus."?

  64. lemuel pitkin said,

    October 21, 2008 @ 7:30 pm

    How about pend? what's its past participle? in practice, does it even have a past tense?

  65. Richard Ashdowne said,

    October 21, 2008 @ 7:43 pm

    Recent research on defectiveness in paradigms (not just of verbs, although stride was certainly discussed) was presented at a conference at the British Academy in May of this year. The Surrey Morphology Group, which organised the conference, has made material from it available online at the Typology of Defectiveness Project and there is a promise of more data to come.

    What emerges from all this is the familiar impossibility of proving a negative (namely that, at any given stage in the language, X form of a lexical item – or to be more precise, a form of that item to fulfil an expected function – is not just avoided by speakers but couldn't be produced by them despite the well-founded expectation that lexical items of that category would have some form for that function/value). Simply not finding any examples is insufficient to show anything conclusively, while finding a single example (as in the original post) is strong evidence for falsifying the hypothesis (so long as it is carefully and precisely stated with regard to speech community and period).

    The problem of assessing absence of evidence of a form is compounded, in the case of stride (I suspect), by the overall relative infrequency of the lexical item when compared with other verbs of human motion, and by its lexical semantics, which make its use in the have X-ed tense/aspect less likely still (stride seems to me to imply 'effortful or resolute movement, purposefulness' on the part of the strider). However, the website cited above and the conference illustrate wonderfully the commonness of defectiveness (and other fascinating morphological phenomena such as suppletion – perhaps a kind of 'co-operative or symbiotic defectiveness'), often in the most remarkable places, where neither frequency nor lexical semantics is available to help explain the apparent absence of a form for a function/value of a lexical item that one would think it hard to be able to communicate effectively without.

  66. John N. said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 5:04 am

    It seems to me that most of the comments are missing an important point in Geoffrey's post, where he points out why this stridden/stode/strided debate is even relevant:

    So the notion that the so-called Modal items are really just irregular verbs might be thought to gain a tiny piece of extra support if there are ordinary lexical verbs lacking participles. It means you have to allow for verbs that have missing parts of their paradigms anyway, regardless of whether you include the modals among the verbs, so it makes the modals look not quite so special among the verbs. That would be the relevance of discovering a verb that simply didn't have a past participle, which is what stride seemed to be.

    To this, Sky commented:

    On the subject of the modals, the question regarding their status makes me wonder: what is the substantive difference between assigning them a separate category distinct from verbs vs. describing them as "a special kind of verb that lacks participles completely, systematically, and irredeemably"? Are these not just two ways of stating essentially the same thing?

    To this, I would like to add that there needs to be an argument for why stride doesn't have a past participle, and why modals do not have one. I think it's obvious that the two answers are quite different. Clearly, there is a (inter-)subjective semantics to the modals which makes certain kinds of tense and aspect marking silly. The stride debate has nothing to do with this and is rather about irregular vs. regular forms in rare usage. So how can one justify that answering the stride debate affects the specialness of the modals? And why does it matter whether we call them verbs or not?

  67. Johannes said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 5:44 am

    "I'm hard pressed to find a sentence like 'Canning take vacations in Europe is very pleasant.' meaningful, even if I suppose that you can rewrite it as 'Being able to take vacations in Europe is very pleasant.'"
    Maybe in this particular example, but "canning" would of course can replace all instances of "being able to", and it is not as if that phrase is never used. Similarly, the infinitive "to can" would can be used instead of "to be able to".

  68. language hat said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 8:11 am

    How about pend? what's its past participle? in practice, does it even have a past tense?

    I presume you're referring to the common word pending rather than to the actual, if rare, verbs "to pend" (meaning "To belong or pertain," "To arch (over)," "and To shut in or pen; to confine, limit"); that does not involve a verb "pend" but is a calque from the French pendant (which was earlier borrowed in its original form: 1642 tr. J. Perkins Profitable Bk. (new ed.) ix. §598. 259 Issue in taile bringeth a Formedon [a writ of right used for claiming entailed property] against the discontinuee, and pendant the suit [Fr. pendant le brief;= ‘the suit being pendant’] sheweth the deed of entaile.)

  69. Jack Collins said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 11:29 am

    @Randy

    You know, I just assumed that ken was a cognate of can without checking my sources. It was less than cunning of me and I dinna ken why I did it.

  70. Ralph Hickok said,

    October 22, 2008 @ 12:57 pm

    The Compact OED gives "dive, dove, dove" as the U. S. forms.

  71. Colin John said,

    October 23, 2008 @ 11:17 am

    'Stridden' for me (BrEng), though I’ve heard ‘strode’.
    A couple of vaguely related notes.
    'The Strid' is a beauty spot in Yorkshire where the River Wharfe passes through a narrow rocky defile and relates to the jump or stride required to leap across it – only about 12 feet, but on slippery rocks over white water it's supposed to be a test of manhood (don't ask me, I chickened out).
    Also in relation to the Russian Poker there is a similar tale in French where the the 'f' at the end of oeuf is not pronounced when the preceding word ends in a sibilant – thus Un or quatre [œf] but des/deux/trois/six [œ]. This is fine until you get to 9, when [nœf œf] just sounds too dissonant. In the tale a shopkeeper who was in the habit of saying what he was handing over promptly solved the problem by saying ‘neuf beaux oeufs’ ( [nœf bo zœ] ).

  72. Gregg Painter said,

    October 23, 2008 @ 7:32 pm

    Strode. "Stridden?!" All right, I'm American.

    I haven't read all the posts above, but while strode gets millions of Google hits, stridden only gets 32,000.

    The unwashed masses (and I haven't taken a shower today: I must be a Euro-American) have voted.

  73. Nijma said,

    October 24, 2008 @ 2:17 am

    "might could"
    "used to could"
    Randy: "I quite like the construction".

    These forms are not necessarily southern; I have heard them in the midwest, and from educated people too, although they are quite aware they're incorrect and would never use them in a formal public situation.

    I'm not going to get into the yokel thing, except to say I've seen situations where someone was not able to be educated, perhaps because of some difficult life circumstance like the death of a parent, but uneducated they are just the same. Forms like "I ain't got no" and "he done come up to visit" are not in the same category as the above modal forms and do sound uneducated.

    "Might could" and "used to could" are quite expressive and shorter and pithier than their more correct counterparts. I have heard them used mostly to convey a sense of informality or send a message that the speaker has charisma. You're also supposed to smile when you hear the constructions, so it is a way of defusing tension. "Might could" I associate with food teasing, as in "I might could find you some lefse around here" while "used to could" is a gentle way of softening the expression of disappointment/loss and buffering the listener when speaking of unpleasantness.

  74. Benjamin Zimmer said,

    October 24, 2008 @ 8:16 am

    Gregg Painter: What you want to compare is strode vs. stridden used as a past participle (the topic of the post). I get these Googlecounts:

    "have|has|had strode": 9,640
    "have|has|had stridden": 5,320
    "have|has|had strided": 821

    So there's a clear preference for strode, but it's not as overwhelming as you suggest.

  75. SubtleKnife said,

    October 26, 2008 @ 9:02 am

    Now I think about it, mine was probably the same scenario as Chris Waigl's, but my first reaction was that stridden was the only version that "felt natural" to me.

  76. Anonymous Cowherd said,

    October 31, 2008 @ 9:14 pm

    I also think "stridden" is the most natural word… but it's so much more fun to postulate "straught"! As in, "He'd straught off after unlocking the front door."

    After all, the most fun rule of English is: All irregular verbs have participles ending in "-ught".

  77. Dave Costa said,

    November 3, 2008 @ 11:05 am

    My immediate reaction was that "strode" was the appropriate form, although I would not be surprised to find "stridden" used as well.

    To those who googled for just "strode" and "stridden", this is a little unfair since the former seems to turn up a lot as a name.

    I searched for some specific phrases that others did not:

    strode off = 77,700 hits
    stridden off = 94 hits, of which the top one is this posting

    strode away = 71,200 hits
    stridden away = 93 hits

    So in these constructions "strode" seems to be much more popular.

  78. Arnold Zwicky said,

    November 3, 2008 @ 12:45 pm

    To Dave Costa: your search is seriously flawed, since "strode" is past tense as well as past participle, and as Ben Zimmer pointed out in his response to Gregg Painter, it's only the past participle that you want to search for.

  79. Mary Holmes said,

    December 6, 2008 @ 2:56 pm

    I would say "He strode into the room" without a second thought. Now, "he had striden"… Not so sure.

  80. Leeandra Nolting said,

    December 24, 2009 @ 3:06 pm

    @Nigel, who said that no one uses the arachic "glode" instead of "glided."

    This is what I grew up (in the hills of Southern Indiana) saying. It's also quite common in Appalachia. The original English-speaking settlers of Appalachia came over in the 1700s and early 1800s, and remained fairly isolated until recently. A lot of words that died out in British English and in the rest of American English remain in use in those places. ("drug" as the past tense of "drag", for example).

    I got a lot of papers corrected in grade school for using those terms, as the teachers thought these words were wrong. It's more a case of classism in the U.S., as "hill people" are considered stupid, ignorant, inbred, and uneducated, and you don't want to sound like them.

    So I was quite pleased to see that "glode" appears in "The Faerie Queene" and that my folks weren't ungrammatical idiots.

  81. Wendy said,

    October 10, 2013 @ 7:00 pm

    "With his Watergate fame and fascinating background, Lenzner loomed larger than life among fresh-faced employees. Although known as a browbeater, he had stridden through history."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/terry-lenzner-the-private-eye-who-has-seen-it-all-from-watergate-to-microsoft/2013/10/09/9bf8661a-3062-11e3-8906-3daa2bcde110_story.html

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