"Lit" became "Lighted"?
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A few years ago I read "He lighted the torch" and smirked, thinking it was an error. Then I saw it again. And again and again and again, in different books, and never "lit" anywhere.
Now I don't know if I've ever seen "lit" used in print; maybe it just took me this long to notice?
But - I visted this online dictionary, which does claim "lit" to be the past tense for "light". http://www.merriam-webster.com/ Then I looked up "lighted," and it's not even listed (!).
Maybe this is a UK/US thing?
But what is correct and what is not in a language gets determined by the usage of native speakers, and dictionaries only record that, and are usually lagging behind. And the process of turning strong verbs into weak verbs is well documented in the history of English, so this changes seem only natural.
My personal wince-inducing examples include "weaved" for "wove" and or "woven" by folks writing in the field of handwovens.
At the same time, it is absolutely true what Conachair says at #3. What is correct and proper are determined by common use, and thus things change, and so fundamentally it's correct to say the torch of linguistic change has been lighted.
On the example of 'to weave', questions like 'Who wove this? would have been common while most fabrics were hand woven. When I was young we did a lot of paperweaving crafts, and I wove potholders on a small loom. (Horrible things, as I recall) My boys may have seen weaving done once or twice when growing up. Because I do a lot of textile things, they probably heard 'wove' often enough to recognize it. Hard to tell if they would use it actively.
I run into a lot of young women who never had anything to do with textile crafts, and in their thirties decide to learn to knit, embroider... I can easily imagine that someone like that could learn to weave and end up using 'weaved' even when she had learned to use other terms correctly. Personally I'd rather they learned to weave, to sew with handwoven materials, etc. and say weaved, than that they only wore readymade clothing and said 'wove'.
You're not defending "snuck" as proper usage, are you? You almost sneaked that past us. ;-)
Until 1930 or so it seems that lighted was the more common word when they switched places. It appears that lighted is making a strong comeback in the last few years though.
It appears that dove is and has been since at least 1800 more popular than dived (except in a weird spike in the mid-1940's).
ETA: Actually there appear to be spikes of the word dived during WWI and WWII. Is there a military term that uses "dived"?
It appears that there is nothing to fear from weaved.
Sneaked seems to have been more common than snuck since the 1800s at least, although snuck is sneaking up on sneaked since around the 1970s.
Shone by far outpaces shined.
We would always say, "He dived into the pool" and never dove.
Same here in Australia, although with all the USA TV that we see here I wouldn't be surprised if "dove" snucks in before long.
Hang on..... That sounds a bit New Zealandish, doesn't it?
Whether there's anything behind the first two or they're just some artefact of my subconscious I don't know.
I've always considered 'dove' and 'snuck' as Americanisms, though.
There is no excuse for "snuck," though.
You have "peak" become "peaked," not "puck," so why does "sneak" become "snuck"?
Dived was well ahead until the 1990s and now seems to be making a comeback. It's interesting that both terms rose sharply from 2000.
Also, looking at a few examples around WWI and WWII I suspect that the bumps are from descriptions of air combat and perhaps submarines.
Whether British or American, Canadian or Australian, or anywhere the Empire made its mark, English has made us all its nonsensical bitch.
The literate path: the British native bird the chough used to be pronounced "chow" on the basis of its call (rather like the jackdaw is so called because it voices the sound "chac"). Presumably on the analogy of "cough" the bird is now pronounced "chuff".
The oral folk path (I'm using "folk" in the sense of common usage): the British pronunciation of the verb "harass" used to have the stress on the first syllable until the US usage of stressing the second syllable started to dominate in the second half of the 20th century. Though not so fashionable a term the US pronunciation is still more likely to be heard now in the UK. (Of course in French the stresses in the verb "harasser" tend be be more undifferentiated.)