Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: *snuck.

*snuck. *”Snuck” is a nonstandard past tense and past participle of “sneak” common in American speech and writing. The standard past form is “sneaked.” Surprisingly, though, *”snuck” appears half as often as “sneaked” in American writing — e.g.: o “They include all that weird wording snuck [read ‘sneaked’] into bills to assure that the gravy train stops at your station.” Steve Tidrick, “The Budget Inferno,” New Republic, 29 May 1995, at 17. o “He says he snuck [read ‘sneaked’] to female friends’ homes to play with their dolls, since his mother, a Southern Baptist, answered with a big N-O to his request for a ‘Solo in the Spotlight’ Barbie, and his father ‘flipped out.'” Taylor Ward, “Ken — and His Barbies,” St. Petersburg Times, 6 Dec. 1996, Time Out §, at 4. o “The next day, Gowdy and I snuck [read ‘sneaked’] off camera to a mesquite thicket where birds were flying thick and fast.” Bob Whitaker, “Fishy Stories of Wildlife Conquests, Comedy,” Ariz. Republic, 29 May 1997, Out There §, at 1. Language-Change Index — *”snuck” for “sneaked”: Stage 3. *Invariably inferior forms. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “Words that have no exclusive function in the presentation of the thought overload the sentence, and bury the thought beneath their rubbish.” Brainerd Kellogg, A Text-Book on Rhetoric 98 (1881).
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