sprain / sprained / sprained. So inflected. An erroneous "sprang" sometimes springs up — e.g.: o "A Web site has been created on the Internet for people to send quick get-well wishes to Kerri Strug, who sprang [read 'sprained'] her ankle Tuesday night." Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 25 July 1996, at A1 (photo caption). o "'I sprang [read sprained] my ankle twice dancing to karaoke,' McCormick says." Thomas Ropp, "Couple Share Curse of the Karaoke," Ariz. Republic, 16 Dec. 1996, at C1. Of course, "sprang" is the correct past-tense form of the verb "spring." Language-Change Index — *"sprang ankle" for "sprained ankle": Stage 1. *Invariably inferior forms. ——————– Quotation of the Day: "A dictionary . . . is a kind of catalog of symbolic inventions. Well, the point is that a definition . . . is not to be mistaken for a factual proposition. It is not a statement about the non-verbal world of fact and experience. It is words about words." Wendell Johnson, Verbal Man: The Enchantment of Words 111 (1956; repr. 1965).
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