Gather ‘Round, Children, For A Word-Usage Lesson

Clearly, by the time an error makes it to the “front-page” area of an international website in an article about an international event, a refresher is in order. (from, yes, my old enemy Yahoo!)

Take a good look:

Team USA takes on an Argentina team lead by Manu Ginobili for the right to play for gold.


Okay, everyone!

  • This is lead. It is a noun. It is pronounced “led.” If it’s in your house, it could be poisonous. It is very heavy. Alchemists tried to transform it into shinier metals. It has, for whatever reason, one too many As in it for the taste of Robert Plant and his band.
  • This is lead. It is also a noun, but it is pronounced “leed.” If you’re watching an old Law & Order rerun, chances are that eventually Lenny Briscoe will have a lead on one of his cases. If he doesn’t, that is a lousy episode of Law & Order.
  • And this is lead. It is pronounced “leed” and is a present-tense verb. If you play “Follow the Leader,” this is what the guy up front is doing. When it enters the past tense, it becomes led, which is what Mr. Ginobilli was described as having done in the news quote. Not lead, because Mr. Ginobili is not poisonous.

If you have any complaints about this, I suggest you direct them to Robert Plant, or an alchemist near you.


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