Trend Watch

Conjugate

When:

Lookups spiked on September 25, 2013.

Why:

In an interview, Samuel L. Jackson responded to being called the "grammar police" on Twitter for correcting other people's English: "I'll take that. Somebody needs to be. I mean, we have newscasters who don't even know how to conjugate verbs."

Conjugate means "to list the different forms of a verb that show number, person, tense, etc."

Mr. Jackson was probably referring to instances in which newscasters have said things like, "he had went" instead of "he had gone."

We do not know how widespread the problem of newscasters using incorrect verb forms actually is, but Mr. Jackson was arguing that grammatical sloppiness is symptomatic of "a society where mediocrity is acceptable."

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