Misused and abused words / The Phrase

Lead/led - "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."

Friday, June 12, 2009 by ShelbyGT_The_Car | Discussion: WinCustomize Talk

Let's start with the most common verb form of "lead": It's pronounced leed, with a long e, and it means, more or less, "to guide," "to direct," or "to be first." So far so good. Its past tense is "led," pronounced with a short e. So, "lead"=present, "led"=past. Sounds easy, right?

The reason this gets confusing is that "lead" can also be a noun. With a long e it means "the person in front" or "leash" or "the first card played" or "the distance a base runner is from the base," as well as some others. But it can also be pronounced with a short e, in which case it's the metal that's in a pencil. (Or was, before lead poisoning, but anyway.) So because "lead" can properly be pronounced with a short e, it's easy to think that that's how the past tense of the verb is spelled--but it's not.

Harry leads his year in detentions
Jack has led SG-1 into some interesting situations.
The lead in my pencil needs sharpening.
Why isn't your dog on a lead?
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.
Jim led Blair to the temple.

In example:

You Can Lead A Horse To Water, But You Can't Make It Drink ( you can show people how do do things, but people must help themselves ... )
(proverb) says that you can give people what they need to help themselves, but you can't force them to do it; people need to help themselves. Example: "I told her exactly what to do, but she didn't listen to me." Reply: "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."

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NightTrainthedark
Reply #1 Friday, June 12, 2009 7:44 AM

I recently misused the word lead instaed of led here in the forums. I caught it just after posting but didn't care enough to change it. I'm not getting paid or earning a grade so people can be grammar natzis all they want. The point is still well made. Especially this day and age where everyone is out to screw up the english language. FFS, have you seen the new snickers marketing clusterfudge? I can't believe someone bought that idea as a marketing ploy. Fashizzleitupyourbum.

I know building and maintaining homes. Maybe I'll leave notes in peoples mailboxes listing all the things they are doing wrong maintaining (or not) their homes.

There and their I screw up all the time as well.

 

Uvah
Reply #2 Friday, June 12, 2009 7:46 AM

Red...as in the color red.

Read...long 'e' as in reading a book.

Read...short 'e' past tense as in read the book.

Interesting how the change of just one letter makes a big difference. Easily confused if you have a problem pronouncing 'r's and 'l's.

Fashizzleitupyourbum....good one

vStyler
Reply #3 Friday, June 12, 2009 8:53 AM

natzis

 

Uvah
Reply #4 Friday, June 12, 2009 9:02 AM

Here and hear...place and audio. how disparate can you be.

Bear and bare...wild animal and nude or lack of...but then again a nude person can be considered...wild in a sense, right

NightTrainthedark
Reply #5 Friday, June 12, 2009 9:03 AM

Wed

Weed

Uvah
Reply #6 Friday, June 12, 2009 9:05 AM

Night Train......I'd like to credit you with coining the word 'fashizzleitupyourbum'. It's rather unique and I'd like to use it as a fav saying for one of my characters in a my book. Are you Okay with that?

NightTrainthedark
Reply #7 Friday, June 12, 2009 9:08 AM

lol, Trademark it for all I care.

ALMonty
Reply #8 Friday, June 12, 2009 9:18 AM

There and their I screw up all the time as well

they're = they are (contraction)

The science textbooks are over there on the floor.

My friends have lost their tickets.

Hurry up! They're closing the mall at 6 tonight!

BONEHEADdb
Reply #9 Friday, June 12, 2009 9:54 AM

I hear people use this phrase all the time: I could care less.

Person one says: The cat just farted.
Person two says: I could care less.

Really? You could care less about something else?
The proper phrase is: I couldn't care less.
It's just lazinesses.

NightTrainthedark
Reply #10 Friday, June 12, 2009 10:15 AM

It's just lazinesses.

It is supposed to be sarcastic so I could care less is correct.

BONEHEADdb
Reply #11 Friday, June 12, 2009 10:39 AM

Sarcasm aside, the proper phrase is: I couldn't care less.
Here is another one: borrow me 20 bucks.(lend me 20 bucks).

NightTrainthedark
Reply #12 Friday, June 12, 2009 10:51 AM

borrow me 20 bucks

yeah that one I blame on rap.

In all seriousness, none of this matters. Immigrants refuse to learn the language so in a decade or so we won't know whether people mean up or down.

Jafo
Reply #13 Friday, June 12, 2009 11:16 AM

Just FFS it's NOT 'rediculous'...there IS NO 'E' in 'ridiculous' ..... Spell checker

2of3
Reply #14 Friday, June 12, 2009 11:23 AM

Let me axe you a question?

WebGizmos
Reply #15 Friday, June 12, 2009 11:38 AM

Hey! What time it is?

NightTrainthedark
Reply #16 Friday, June 12, 2009 11:48 AM

Just FFS it's NOT 'rediculous'...there IS NO 'E' in 'ridiculous'

I could care less.  

 

 

 

ALMonty
Reply #17 Friday, June 12, 2009 12:10 PM

Hey! What time it is?

Time for you to get a new watch.

NightTrainthedark
Reply #18 Friday, June 12, 2009 12:21 PM

That's one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind.

I know Armstrong is quoted as saying he meant to say "a man" but let's just rewrite history...literally.

 

ShelbyGT_The_Car
Reply #19 Friday, June 12, 2009 8:26 PM

Wow looks like some people here are having a goodtime while I was working today.

Just got home to see this and like the cow tried to jump over the moon... or did it here?

The real thread was about what all the world is about with slang and how we try to use it maybe?

Fuzzy Logic
Reply #20 Saturday, June 13, 2009 4:15 AM

They learn you something every day

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