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For good and forbade



"Her mother told her it was 'prideful' to watch herself on screen, so she didn't. Later, orphaned, she lived with 'nutso' relatives who forbid watching movies."

I would have bet a quarter that the proper past tense of forbid was forbade, and I would have lost. The Random House Unabridged says that forbid, forbade and forbad are all acceptable. I yield to RH in these matters.

Bryan A. Garner doesn't, however. Garner's Modern American Usage says, "The past tense is forbade (rhyming with glad). ... Forbid is sometimes wrongly used as a past-tense form. ... Some writers – no doubt those who pronounce forbade correctly — use the variant spelling forbad. Avoid it." If you're wondering about the correct preposition to go with all these forms of forbid, Random House is silent. Even the dauntless Garner hedges, saying that both to and from "appear frequently."

"Pennington said that most golfers are quick to lend an ear to swing tips or most anything that will improve their game, and quoted several renown instructors claiming that the national open is among the best chances to glean something from watching pros ... "

The instructors don't teach renown, they are themselves renowned (famous) for teaching people how to play golf. This improper use of the noun for the adjective seems to be spreading. Maybe in a time of speeded-up communication, people have decided that suffixes only slow them down.

How many touchdowns did Rudolph Valentino score?

Reporting on the gruesome new uniforms the Razorbacks will be forced to wear next year, Yahoo Sports said, "The numbers have a gradient look to them, which is similar to Arizona State. They've also added a sheik white helmet."

Maybe we should change the name of the team to Sheiks. It would go better with these uniforms than Razorbacks, which conveys a uniquely Arkansan rough-and-readiness. Now it sounds like we'll be a mix of Arizona State and, I guess, West Virginia. Isn't that where the anthracite is? "Anthracite" is given as the color of one of our new uniforms. I'm about ready to commit anthracide.

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