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Stove Up

What does it mean to be stove up? This phrase for sore or stiff has nothing to do with a stovetop; stove is actually the past tense of stave. To stave in a wooden boat is to smash a hole in its side, and thus, to be stove up is to be incapacitated...

Past Tense of Plead

What’s the past tense of plead? Is it pleaded or pled? Within the legal profession, pleaded is preferred. But in our common vernacular, we tend to use the less traditional pled. This is part of a complete episode.


Is boughten a past tense form of to buy? Grant gives his blessing to its use in informal conversation, but when it comes to formal writing, the word you want is bought. This is part of a complete episode.

Stories From The Onion

In this week’s episode, Martha and Grant discuss not-to-be-believed articles about language from the satirical newspaper The Onion, including one headlined “Underfunded Schools Forced to Cut Past Tense from Language Programs.” By...