Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: slink / slunk / slunk.

slink / slunk / slunk. So inflected. *"Slank" and *"slinked" are nonstandard variants in the past tense and past participle — e.g.: o "The advent of the riders bruited by scurvid curs that howled woundedly and slank [read ‘slunk’] among the crumbling walls." Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, Or, The Evening Redness in the West 97 (1992). o "He rolled the flag into a ball and slinked [read ‘slunk’] off the track. His bronze medal was gone. [Wallace] Spearmon had been DQd for weaving out of his lane too many times." Mike Downey, "Runaway Reign," Chicago Trib., 21 Aug. 2008, Sports §, at 1. Meanwhile, the erroneous form *"slunked" sometimes appears as a past-tense verb or participle — e.g.: o "They grew impatient when he slunked [read ‘slunk’] along like the rest of the team and finally dumped him and his $800,000 yearly salary." Dan Raley, "Smitten with Whiten," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 6 Sept. 1996, at E1. o "[Bonnie] Murchison, standing with two of her friends, said she had a boyfriend, which wasn’t exactly the truth. The boy slunked [read ‘slunk’] away." Francis X. Donnelly, "Teens Decry Fairlane’s New Curfew," Detroit News, 3 May 2004, at B1. Language-Change Index — (1) *"slank" for "slunk" as past tense of "slink" Stage 1; (2) *"slinked" for "slunk" as a past tense of "slink": Stage 1; (3) *"slunked" for "slunk" as a past tense of "slink": Stage 1. *Invariably inferior forms. ——————– Quotation of the Day: "Authors and publishers . . . live in symbiosis. The unpublished manuscript accomplishes nothing for its author, and a journal without manuscripts speedily dies." Lester S. King, Why Not Say It Clearly 5 (1978).
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