Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lead, Lead, Led

You need to know the difference between "lead," "lead," and "led." You'll only get caught on this one if you use it in your writing, and then only if your reader is as sharp as, well, a freshly sharpened pencil.

Wrong: I lead the team to victory last season.
Right: I led the team to victory last season.

Mistaking "lead" for "led" is a very common error, even in newspapers where copy editors should have caught it. Now that you know about it, watch for it and let me know when you see it in print.

TIP: Just remember that the past tense of "lead" is always "led." The word "lead," when pronounced like "led," means that black stuff in the center of your pencil (that's actually graphite, but you know what I mean).

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