Submitted by ronaldlhughes on August 30, 2009

Why have media changed our words?

I ask each of you to consider the fact that a certain word seems to have disappeared from all of our media! What you say, that is impossible! Well just read the news or listen to the news, etc. and you will find out that a very simple word has been replaced by a more complicated word, and every one is doing it in the Media! And, I mean everyone!

The word is “Pled” / “Plead, which can be a short version of “Pleaded”!

You have been unable to see the shortened version of “pleaded” in either print media or hear it in TV, or Radio media for about ten or so years now, maybe even longer.

Instead of a news account saying “John Doe pled / plead guilty yesterday”, all media will say “John Doe (or “they”) pleaded guilty yesterday!”

My question is, WHY? And why wasn’t I told about it? And why did everone else know it was no longer to be used before I noticed it was totally missing in my world of today?

Why, Why was I not involved in the numerous discussions which must have taken place amongst the learned persons of this society? Why was not there a Public Opinion Poll taken, which whould have made it a majority descision? Why?

I now asume that most Media will still state that, “John Doe bled to death”, or will they change this to, “John Doe bleeded to death?” And what might happen to “led”, will it be “leded” or even “leaded” away?

What will we all do about the use of this phrase “John Doe was shot “to death” yesterday!” Is now possible for someone to be “Shot to life?”

How about the never let a chance go unused use of the terms; “immeasurable”, and “countless”, and “un-countable”, and, and ?, when most every thing that the Media considers as “countless” or “imeasurable”, etc., is in fact either “measurable” or “countable!”

When will it stop? And if it does, will anyone let me know?

Ron

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"pled" is a standard past tense form of "plead"; it's been around for a while, as in this cite from the OED:

1892 ‘D. DONOVAN’ In Grip of Law 58 When called upon to plead, she pled not guilty in a firm clear voice.

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I don't understand your objection to "shot to death" at all. There's a logical fallacy in comparing it to "shot to life". You've neglected to consider the excluded middle; i.e., John Doe could well have been shot but not killed.

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Wait, I got that backwards. Ron isn't complaining about "pled", he's complaining that no one uses "pled" any more. This is false; "pled" is a common past tense of "plead", used in US and Scottish English. In fact usage writers sometimes complain that "pled" is wrong, and only "pleaded" is correct.

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Dear all, thanks for your comments. And, Porsche you must recognize when some things are said "tounge in cheek!"
John, I do not know where you live but here in the USA, one never hears or sees the common past tense in the form you mentioned, all we get from the Media here is "pleaded", that is the reason I was being somewhat facetious in my wording!
But, please pay attention to you media outlets where ever you live and see if you notice what I have noticed?

Regards,

Ron

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More discussion of this here:

http://painintheenglish.com/?p=4191

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Good one, Ron. I caught on to your game a bit late, just after reading John's and Porsches's earnest responses. You should have "drug it out" longer. We all enjoy a good grammatical battle, however specious.

Still, your point is a good one. Members of the press abuse the language daily. I recently heard the (alleged) verb "efforting" used—or should I say utilized—by a newscaster from MSNBC. The press is not alone in this. Amtrak insists that I am a "customer," rather than a passenger. I fee like a pigeon. They tell me to "detrain." Greyhound, to their credit, has never asked me to "debus." And TV chefs always want to tell me how to "plate" my food, as if it were to be coated in gold.

You ask where it will stop. It won't. It will go on until English breathes its last dying breath. We will argue then whether it is redundant to say "last dying breath," perhaps with our collective penultimate-dying breath.

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1662 FULLER Worthies (1840) I. 276 He efforted his spirits with the remembrance..of what formerly he had been.

1892 Whitby Gaz. 26 Aug. 4 A grand total of 4794 persons were detrained at the Town Station.

1953 T. A. G. HUNGERFORD Riverslake 198 He went up to the mess to plate the meat.

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Oh yes, it's Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage that tells me that "pled" is common in US and Scottish English.

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For cruise ships, one "embarks" (I would assume that it could actually be "embarques!") on the cruise, and then one "dis-embarks!" A "barque" is a rather old word that mostly today would equal a "barge!", but it also can mean an "Ark!" or possible an "arque?" Thus Moses was found in an "Ark" or "Barque!", instead of a basket of reeds. But, of course the most ancient of Egypts "vessels" were made of reeds! And if you have ever seen a depiction of one, its shape is that of an "Arc" or "Arch!"
The news reports of a fighter jet crash in Europe recently, used to word "countless" to describe the people who were not killed by the aircraft due to the pilot's efforts. Obviously the number was not "countless" since only a few thousand people were present. I think any of us might be able to have counted the imagined dead?

Thanks for your comments John!

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If you are so keen to preserve the English language from it's imagined decline, should you not first restore it to it's former glory? Shakespearean English is barely legible today, but that's the fault of all English speakers for allowing the language to "decline," no?

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Did English "decline" or evolve?, or did it really merely "mutate?" Given enough time and enough seperation (that is the inability to easily communicate or travel to another place) English would soon "mutate" into literally hundreds of thousands of accented and changed English that would within a few hundred years, become basically un-inteligable to other speakers! This is seen literally before our eyes today in the language of "children" and "racial accents and grammar!"

I was raised in the Southern US and I still have problems understanding large numbers of African Americans! The "patois" of Jamaica is an excellent example!

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From the AP Stylebook (2000 edition):

<strong>Plead, pleaded, pleading:</strong> Do not use the colloquial past tense form, <em>pled</em>.

That's why its not in the media... More explanation here:

http://www.cjr.org/resources/lc/pleadguilty.php

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