The Word Guy / Knowledge

Pleading Guilty To Using 'Pled'

Q. I recently read an article in my daily newspaper about a court defendant who "pleaded" guilty to a crime. I have always thought the past tense is "pled." Which is correct, or are both of them acceptable? -- Janice Smith, Greensburg, Pa.

A. ...

That Nasty 'So' and 'So'!

So ... a lot of people are starting their sentences with annoying, useless words and phrases. I mean, my readers are starting to notice. Look, it's rampant.

David Howe of Avon, Conn., wonders about the "so"ing together of sentences, as in, "So,...

'Hoi Polloi' Stirs Mass Confusion

Sometimes, we think we know a word's meaning but really don't. Until a few years ago, for instance, I thought that "hoi polloi" meant "the elite, the upper crust."

This probably stemmed from my mother's frequent references to the rich folks in ...