Past tense of "lead" is spelled "led," n

beneficii   Thu Jul 26, 2007 1:52 pm GMT
Of course, it looks like this prescriptive application is being more and more ignored, because it looks more and more like the past tense of "lead" is being spelled "lead," though I think it's still being pronounced like "led." This seems analagous to the past tense of "read," which is still spelled "read," despite being pronounced like "red." Of course, I can understand the past tense of "read" being spelled like that, to prevent confusion with the color "red" (I always thought about this as the reason even when I was a little kid), but there's no reason to affect the spelling of the past tense of "lead" for that reason. Prescriptively, it should be spelled "led," not "lead."
Kendra   Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:38 pm GMT
Kendra   Thu Jul 26, 2007 2:39 pm GMT
beneficii   Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:50 pm GMT
Boy, I post something regarding a common mistake I see being more and more common on the Internet, and the first thing people do is quote me the dictionary. -_-"
beneficii   Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:52 pm GMT
Here's a commentary on it:
Guest   Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:14 pm GMT
Kendra is kind of an idiot. All of her posts are stupid like that.
furrykef   Thu Jul 26, 2007 11:18 pm GMT
I've been noticing the same thing for a while now, though I remember also seeing the mistake in a text published in, if I recall correctly, the 80s. I don't remember what it was, though.

Don't forget that "lead" actually is pronounced "led" when referring to the metal, so it's probably a combination of that along with the "read" thing that causes the confusion. So I can see where the error comes from, but it does mystify me that many people get it wrong.

- Kef
Rodrigo (COL)   Fri Jul 27, 2007 7:28 pm GMT
I think the spelling differences depend on where you are from. I use and would recommend using led to make it easier for others to understand.
furrykef   Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:39 am GMT
<< I think the spelling differences depend on where you are from. >>

I don't see why. The causes of the problem exist in all dialects of English, as far as I know, and all dialects have the same spelling rules for these words. There's no reason for regional variation to exist. If you spell the past tense of "lead" as "lead", it's wrong, whether you're American, Canadian, British, Australian...

- Kef
Travis   Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:48 am GMT
The main thing here is simply that one cannot ever assume that English spelling corresponds to pronunciation - even if it roughly does for some word in one dialect does not mean that it will for that same word in another. This even applies between different registers in the *same* dialect. English spelling does often provide clues as to general pronunciation crossdialectally, but can never be relied upon. In the end, pronunciation in English dialects must be learned directly as such, and English writing must be treated as abstract and formalized and cannot be assumed to correspond to speech at all. (And this does not apply merely to pronunciation either; for instance, the "-y" adjectifier morpheme is used *far* more freely in spoken North American English than one would assume from reading the writing of North Americans...)
Robert   Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:58 pm GMT
Actually, if you look at grammar text books from the twenties and before in English English (for example see "The King's English") rather than American English, the past of the verb "to lead" is correctly either "led" or "lead". Historically it is only in American English where "lead" is incorrect.