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This blog is about the fascinating, fun, and challenging things about the English language. I hope to entertain you and to help you with problems or just questions you might have with spelling and usage. I go beyond just stating what is right and what is wrong, and provide some history or some tips to help you remember. Is something puzzling you? Feel free to email me at wordlady.barber@gmail.com.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Led astray

The past tense and past participle of the verb "lead" is "led". Today I am leading you down the garden path; yesterday I led you down the garden path. It is almost more common to see it misspelled "lead" than to see it spelled correctly. The "lead" that sounds like LED is the heavy metal. Since it is so very easy to make this spelling mistake, you will have to stop yourself every time you use the past tense of the verb "lead" and check your spelling. YOUR SPELLCHECKER IS OF NO USE! Here's a little sentence to memorize that may help you: Ed fed Ted and led him to bed.


  1. Well, too late! I've already done it!

    I'll squarely place the blame on "read-read-read". (Or is it wrong ?!)


About Me

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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.