Some really random assorted ponderings and snarkings

OK, I have to know this, because it’s been driving me CRAZY:

Isn’t the past tense of lead, led? More and more, I see people using lead as the past tense for lead. I understand that the past tense of read is read, but in English, this don’t mean shit, since I’m firmly convinced there are more exceptions than rules in this wacky-ass language. I learned in school that led was the correct form, and to see it being changed makes me apeshit. But if enough people tell me I’m full of shit, I will swallow my bile and bite my tongue the next time I see this assault to my tender sensibilities being perpetrated.

Another pondering, this one inspired by a romance novel getting a huuuuge amount of buzz that I was putting through the 15-page test at the grocery store last night:

Would a crazy-ass, tough-guy, murderizin’ thug say something that smacks so much of precious Valley Girl-ism as “I’m outie” for “I’m out of here”?

Because seriously? I put that romance down after reading that phrase. The men in my life are hardly tough-guy psychotic nutjobs who’d as soon stomp on your nose as look at you, and I’m pretty sure all of them would regard somebody saying “I’m outie” as being irreparably, unconscionably effete. I can imagine that a crazy-ass thug would rip his tongue out, chop it into little bitty pieces, set it on fire then stomp on the ashes before saying it.

Now, I’m not saying I couldn’t fall in love with an effete hero who says “I’m outie.” I’m just saying that given the set-up we’re presented and the character of the guy who says this, that one little phrase made him completely unbelievable to me.

But that’s just me. What do you guys think?

That wasn’t the only reason I put the book down. The people in question are in a big, noisy nightclub full of what sounds like flashy, beautiful people—lots of pseudo-bondage gear, lots of leather and vinyl, and a chick walks by in thigh-high boots and a bustier made of chains, if I remember correctly.

The music being played? Hardcore rap.

Huh? What in the hell is hardcore rap? See, I’m not a rap afficionado. And, well, rap is a lot of things, but I get the feeling that this club is supposed to feel menacing, and rap just doesn’t feel all that menacing to me. Some of the more raw songs have pretty intense lyrics, but I dunno, it just isn’t scary. For a club like the one this author was describing, I was picturing KMFDM, Rammstein, Ministry and other industrial-type bands. Certain types of techno, like jungle. Maybe White Zombie.

Then I realized I was basically picturing that nightclub from the first Blade movie.

Anyway, since I’m such an ignoramus about rap, when the author mentioned “hardcore rap,” I immediately thought of the Lil Jon rap song: “To the window, to the wall, till the sweat drips from my balls.” Which isn’t menacing. It just plain made me giggle, because then I pictured Chris Rock going “Smack her with a dick, smack her with a dick… Put a dick in the ear, a dick in the ear… Blind the bitch! Blind the bitch!”

Moving on to another item, and this is REALLY up for debate: wack, whack or whacked? Personally, I’m for “wack” all the way, mostly because I thought it was an abbreviation of “wacky.” Whack is a borderline acceptable substitute, but whacked? Is what happens to mobsters who squeal to the cops.

Aren’t you guys so glad to have a glimpse into what runs through my teeny little ADD mind all day?


Random Musings

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  1. 1
    Meljean says:

    I’ve been waiting to read this book (it’s in my TBR pile)—but the “I’m outie” is cracking me up.

    It sounds like a belly-button.

    I do like that they are listening to something different—maybe in this case, though, my ignorance of (all types of) music and lyrics is for the best, so I get the sense of mood without the details. I’m still laughing my ass off at the dick in the ear. But then, Chris Rock…uh, rawks.

    I’m all for ‘whack’ when it’s death, ‘wack’ when it’s weird.

  2. 2
    Candy says:

    But but BUT! You didn’t answer the first question: lead or led, Meljean?


    And, yeah, that book… the names of the characters are also driving me crazy. One of the names? Has “ohr” in it, and I associate it with this deep, hacking, phlegmy sound. So every time I read that name, somebody’s coughing up their fucking left lung in my head.

    God, I’m such an insufferable, ADD, nitpicky bitch nowadays.

  3. 3
    Claire says:

    Grr. I forgot to put my name and it erased my comment.

    “Lead” as past tense makes me want to cry.  It’s so totally “led” and I would cut off my fingers before I’d write anything else.  I get defensive about English.  :)

    Definitely don’t equate rap, hardcore or otherwise, with semi-bondage.  Sports jerseys and scantily-clad women, perhaps, but not chains and leather.

    Finally, I spell it “whack.”

  4. 4
    Ellen Fisher says:

    The past tense of “lead” is “led.”  No substitutions, exchanges, or refunds.  “Lead” (pronounced “led”) is a metal, and that’s all.  This is simply one of those horrible misspellings that’s become painfully prevalent with the loss of real copyediting, IMHO.

    I spell “whacked” with the h, whether referring to a mental state or a hit by the mob.  Not sure why, but I have a feeling Mr. Webster hasn’t rendered a judgment yet:-).

  5. 5
    Amanda says:

    Candy, if we’re talking about the same book..& we might be, the names really got to me. The rap didn’t bother me too much & I missed the ‘outie’ reference. The thing that did bother me after a while was the constant use of ‘shitkicker’ when referring to the guys’ footwear. It seemed to be the only descriptive word available.

    I reviewed this one in the last week or so.

    I just checked my copy & I think we’re talking about the same book.

  6. 6
    Kassi says:

    It’s “led” … even all the way down here in New Zealand where we talk funny and add extraneous u’s to words like “colour” … :)

  7. 7
    Amy E says:

    Yeah, I know that book, and despite the exact same things that you mentioned that also bothered me, I pushed on and actually enjoyed the thing.  Then again, I like explosions an awful lot.  This book appeals to that pyromaniac in me, or dare I say it, the ‘whacked’ side of my personality?

    And I second, third, and infinityth that the past tense of lead is led, and lead-pronounced-led is a metal, not a verb.  This is illustrated by the following example:

    I will lead you to the explosives, I led you to the explosives, I smacked you with a lead pipe, and this is because deep down inside, I am truly whacked.”

    Okay, now I’m outie.

  8. 8
    Candy says:

    Dudes who wear shitkicking boots DO NOT SAY “I’M OUTIE.”

    That is all.

    And yes, it’s the same book. I don’t know why I’m being so coy this time. Maybe for the novelty of it?

    Everybody I know who’s read it, loves it. I’m just another yammering barbarian who doesn’t get it, and probably never will. *gloom*

  9. 9
    Candy says:

    Also, all of you who are using “whacked” with such unseemly abandon: I have my eye on you.

    *steeples fingers*

    p.s. I’m glad there’s been unanimous agreement thus far about the lead vs. led issue. Am almost willing to overlook “whacked” for the proper and right-minded usage of “led.”

  10. 10
    anu439 says:

    YES YES YES! I put the book down several times at the beginning cuz WTF? I think the last time I heard *anyone* say outie was a lame MTV soap like 6 yrs ago. And that guy was stringy, pale, long haired, goateed and obviously a parody. Also, he said “Outie 5000,” which, if you’re gonna say such DATED shit that wasn’t even in when it was in, you gotta do it all.

    The names, the slang, the (lack of) chemistry b/w h/h, the (lack of) interesting h/h period—it all was a bit trying at times. Once I accepted that it was all a little lame, I got pulled in.

    And I am SO reading the rest.

  11. 11

    SO WHAT’S THE BOOK, ALREADY?  Don’t y’all feel you have an obligation to name names to save the rest of us from this “outie” crisis?

    And I’m with Meljean and the others—“wack” for crazy, and “whack” for making someone sleep with the fishes.

  12. 12
    Shannon says:

    Led, definitely.

    And I think everybody who’s read/is reading that book had a WTF moment at I’m outtie.  I do what I always do and assume the author’s from some other country.  But a savvy reader friend also tells me that the book is worth the hard-to-get-into front end, so I plug away at it.  It IS starting to hold my interest, and I’m starting to get into the readerly goodness.

    And I always used whacked.  Wacky is simply wacky.  Somebody’s been whacked when there are two little bullet holes between his eyes.  But something that’s screwed up or somebody’s who’s not right in the head is also whacked, as in “out of whack.”  But I don’t know why nobody’s ever “in whack.”

    Which is, of course, whacked.

  13. 13

    Whack = hit
    Wacky = crazy (although even I’m getting confused these days, so I’m sure if I’m wacky or whacky)

    And just one more that really irks… Lighted instead of lit, even though lighted is now perfectly acceptable it still trips me up.

    oh oh.. one more (no really I promise), off of. It’s off people, off…. I scooped the car keys off the table, not off of the table.


  14. 14

    Candy, thanks for noticing. I work as a freelance copyeditor for medical journals. One of my favorite things to do is to change “lead” to “led.” It makes me feel that I have contributed to medical research. Let’s not even venture into “then” and “than.” Or—*shudder*—“effect” and “affect.”

  15. 15
    Megan says:

    Led, definitely. But you knew that already.

    Hardcore rap? There’s no such beast anymore, as far as I know. It’s hip-hop, nobody calls it ‘rap’ anymore except for white guys in suits on Capitol Hill. And for a club like that, I’d expect—like you—White Zombie, Black Sabbath, Pantera, KMFDM, Laibach, fer chrissakes! Not ‘hardcore rap.’ Ugh.

    And wack, not whack. Definitely. Keith Haring had that “Crack Is Wack” poster out back when that was in vogue, there was no ‘h’ there.

    But I have no clue what book you’re talking about.

  16. 16

    Editor’s perspective…

    Led. And the assessment that it’s a missed typo, I agree with, because I’ve corrected them. Many, many times.

    I presume what they meant by hardcore was the lyrics, not any ability to be menacing, but yeah, I’m for White Zombi myself. Even Lords of Acid would me more freaky.

    As for the whacking off…our house style:

    Whack if bitchslap, interjection, or mob hit.

    Wacky for weird.

    For the slang term meaning out of style or dorky, the proper spelling is wack. I got this from several teenagers and teen magazines, and I figure they should know. I wouldn’t want to be wack.

    Finally, not big stud man would say “I’m outie” unless it’s following with an announcement of coming out of the closet.

  17. 17
    Victoria Dahl says:

    I agree that any kind of rap doesn’t quite seem right at a bondage club. But there IS hardcore rap/hip-hop out there, and it doesn’t get played on MTV. Li’l Jon is crossover, baby.

    Led, yes. Wack, no. And can I just say that “mic” as the abbreviation for microphone just drives me insane?

  18. 18
    Candy says:

    But there IS hardcore rap/hip-hop out there, and it doesn’t get played on MTV.

    I have no doubt—and I don’t even watch MTV any more. So that gives you an idea of how out of touch I am with modern rap and hip-hop. It says volumes that the most hardcore I can come up with is Lil Jon….

    A friend of mine who’s really into rap is into Californian Socialist rap. I had no idea there was such a beast, but apparently, there is.

    And can I just say that “mic” as the abbreviation for microphone just drives me insane?

    Similarly, I’ve sometimes seen people abbreviate refrigerator as “frig,” which makes me giggle no end. And then there are the people who spell refrigerator, “refridgerator.” Which I sometimes do, actually. *guilt*

    Also, wack is not wacky. I just made a dumbass assumption a while back that it stems from the term wacky, since wack is usually used to mean something fucked-up, off, and/or lame. But Shannon has a good point about off-whack.

    Should we start a Society for the Proper Usage of Led?

    And Darlene: here are a few more clues about the book:

    - It’s a vampire novel
    – It was published very, very recently
    – The names for the male characters are tres, tres silly. Just about every blogger I know of has bitched about how retarded those names are.
    – At least one person who’s posted here has reviewed the book on her blog very, very recently. *heavy hint*

    Yes, I’m still playing coy. I’m feeling perverse tonight.

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Sara Donati says:

    languages changes, so you’ll just have to get over the shift in participles.

    Verbs in English fall into two larger groups, strong and weak. The strong verbs are the ones where the vowel changes with the tense (speak-spoke-spoken) and the weak ones where the vowel stays the same and a bound morpheme /d/ is added (walk-walked-walked).

    Over the last two hundred years or so, strong verbs have been migrating over to the weak category. So you get variation… she swam/she swimmed I dove/I dived. As a corollary to this you get the simple past form shifting into the spot where the past participle used to be. (I had gone / I had went).

    It’s not a character flaw or laziness or poor education (especially if we’re talking about spoken language; written language is a difference kettle of fish, more complex).

    Language changes. Inevitable, unstoppable. Really not worth a pair of twisted knickers.

  21. 21
    Shannon says:

    I still wanna know where the kick-ass guy named Phucked went to.  Maybe he’s so whacked he’s not innie yet?

  22. 22
    SamG says:

    It is led.

    I use the ‘h’ in whack/ed.  I looked up whack on (o.k., I”m anal) and found these (all informal sayings/idioms): ‘out of whack’….not functioning properly, ‘I’ll take/have a whack at it’…I’ll try and ‘he’s whacked’ or ‘whacked out’ …under the influence of drugs, crazy or exhausted.

    I want to know who is actually saying ‘he swimmed’ instead of ‘he swam’.  I haven’t heard that…think I’ll want to whack someones tongue out when I do.


  23. 23
    Michelle, the Diva says:

    Don’t EVEN get me started on its/it’s.

    I vote:
    He led them to the treasure and when the wacky lady tried to take the lead, he whacked her in the head with a lead pipe.

    Outtie is so, like, uncool. Like the word “like” used, like, all the time. You know, like, what I mean? Like?

  24. 24

    Don’t EVEN get me started on its/it’s.

    Guilty, guilty.

    I do this all the time. I swear I know how and where to use them appropriately, it’s just… I type one a thousand times more than the other and my brain goes on autopilot.

    And shit! I’m a lazy blogger.


  25. 25

    What kills me is that many people, who want to be published, say that it’s not their job to learn English grammar and usage because it’s their—IF they ever get published—editor’s job to fix these mistakes.


  26. 26
    Meljean says:

    Laughing my head off at “Phucked”. Maybe it’ll be the seventh book?

    The names do seem they’d be…well, annoying, and stupid, but I’m thinking if I could get past Lucivar, Daemon and Saetan in Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels trilogy, I’ll do okay.

    And, although it pains me to read about Demons and Devils in regency-set historicals, I eventually read on through. It can’t be much worse than that, can it?

  27. 27
    Book Mom says:

    Led, for sure. I’ve always associated whack with killing and wack with weird.

  28. 28
    Jaye Patrick says:

    What kills me is that many people, who want to be published, say that it’s not their job to learn English grammar and usage because it’s their—IF they ever get published—editor’s job to fix these mistakes.

    I’m sorry, but that is seriously whacked!  If you want to get published, then be professional about it.  The easier you make it for an editor, the more willing they will be to work with you.  Personally, as an editor, I will mention the lack of grammar skills in my editing notes, then make the author fix it.

    And it’s led; no doubt.

    As to the changeability of the language, that’s true; although geographic idiosyncrasies must also bear responsibility for the increasing discombobulation of English.

    The English language: where there is an exception to every rule.

  29. 29
    CindyS says:

    “So you get variation… she swam/she swimmed I dove/I dived. As a corollary to this you get the simple past form shifting into the spot where the past participle used to be. (I had gone / I had went).”

    Knickers in a knot!!  Oh, they’re in a knot alright!

    What happens when my Godchildren do this?  I swimmed in the fast lane Aunt Cindy!  No, you swam in the fast lane.

    I seriously don’t know how this comes about?  But, if it has been changing over the last 200 years then wouldn’t that have come up in school.

    Course just say schedule like shed-ule and I will go apeshit.  Do you go to shool? Are you a sholar?  NO.  You go to School – skool, you make the scholar – skolar list and it is set to a schedule – sked-ule!!!


    It also used to drive me crazy that my brother would refer to ‘last night’ as ‘yesterday night’.  Yeah, I mocked the bejeesus out of him.  Two years ago I heard a news reporter use this term and I sat in front of the TV with my jaw on the floor.  Hubby patted my head and said ‘there, there’.  My brother has infected the english language!!

    So tell me, is it last night or yesterday night?

    Someone else brought up the lit/lighted thing but I am getting used to it along with hung/hanged – I like the way hanged sounds but I only equate that with an execution not hanging up a picture.

    Oh, and it is led, just so you know.

    The novel Candy was talking about was Dark Lover (teehee) and the brotherhood has these names that are hilarious.  Anyone wonder how the one brother ended up with Darius as a name.  Yo, this is Wrath, Pissed, Torment and Darius.  (only one of those names is real to the book.)  Just wondering if you have to have a bad ass name to be part of the brotherhood.  I’m sure I’ll find out because I got sucked into the book.  My fav. character Butch.

    CindyS – obvious willing to bring all the peeves out of the closet!

  30. 30
    Soni says:

    Re: the club atmosphere, maybe this is more what you had in mind.

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