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Is it Drug or Dragged? The Naughty Grammarian Explains

Updated on February 25, 2017
CatherineGiordano profile image

Catherine Giordano, aka "The Naughty Grammarian," has had her fiction, non-fiction, and poetry published in books and periodicals.

Dragged or Drug

Is it dragged or drug?
Is it dragged or drug? | Source

A Momentary Pause.

Miss Grammers will momentarily instruct on the misuse of the past tense. She will specifically discuss drug vs. dragged, snuck vs. sneaked, and stood vs. stayed.

First, Miss Grammers must address the use of "momentarily." Did you notice this word in the first sentence above?

"Miss Grammers will momentarily instruct on the misuse of the past tense."

Miss Grammers deliberately used the word incorrectly to see if you were paying attention. “Momentarily” does not mean “in a moment” as in the sense of “soon.” It means “lasting a moment” in the sense of “being of brief duration.”

Miss Grammers does not intend to quickly gloss over the issues in this lesson or to disappear in a puff of smoke in an instant. Miss Grammers meant that she would get to the lesson in a moment, that is to say, after a brief interval of time.The first sentence will now be rewritten.

“In a moment, Miss Grammers will instruct on the misuse of the past tense.”

“Momentarily” is very frequently misused to mean “soon,” so much so that it may be acceptable to some just because it is so widely used. Miss Grammers is not one of those people. It grates on Miss Grammers ears and puts her quite out of sorts. Please do not do it.

Dragged, Not Drug

The past tense of drag is dragged.
The past tense of drag is dragged. | Source

Dragged and Drug

Drag is the present tense of the verb which means ”to apply force or effort to pull an object slowly along.” “Dragged” is the past tense of “drag.” "Drug" is NOT the past tense of "drag." Never!

For example, these sentences are correct.

“After a wild night of love-making, Melanie dragged herself from bed the next morning.”

"The wild lovemaking ensued after Melanie dragged the words she longed to hear from Doug’s mouth." (Metaphorically speaking, of course.)

If Melanie had ”drug herself from bed” or if she had “drug the words from Doug’s mouth,” Miss Grammers would wonder if a hypodermic needle had been involved. This is an unpleasant thought and Miss Grammers does not wish to dwell on it.

You can see the full conjugation of "drag" here. There is no tense where “drug” is correct. Conjugation of Drag

Sneaked, Not Snuck

The past tense of sneak is sneaked.
The past tense of sneak is sneaked. | Source

Jennifer Garner and Conan O'Brien

Sneaked and Snuck

"Sneaked" and "snuck" is less clear-cut than "dragged" and "drug."

“Sneaked” is the standard past tense form of “sneak, but “snuck” is also currently considered acceptable.

Miss Grammers is sorry to have to say that “snuck” has sneaked into common parlance. We are stuck with snuck.

"Melanie sneaked into Doug’s bed as his guests were leaving the party."

"Doug sneaked a peak at Melanie as she was dressing."

Miss Grammers prefers “sneaked.” With “sneaked" there is no chance of an exchange such as the one that occurred on the Conan O’Brien show when Jennifer Garner was a guest.

It was rude of Miss Garner to correct Mr. O’Brien, on his own show no less, but Miss Grammers will leave Miss Manners to deal with that.

You will find the complete conjugation of "sneak" here. Conjugation of Sneak

You will note that snuck is listed, but it is listed second, meaning it is acceptable, but not the preferred way to express the past tense of sneak.

Stayed, Not Stood

The past tense of stay is stayed.
The past tense of stay is stayed. | Source

Stayed, Stood, and Staid

The past tense of the verb “stay” which means "to remain" or to "spend time in a place" is “stayed.”

The word “staid” might have been correct a century ago, but it is now considered archaic. It’s only meaning today is "stodgy or dull in character." (Miss Grammers does not want you to be thought of as archaic, or stodgy, for that matter.)

There is absolutely no excuse for using "stood" instead of "stayed." Stood is the past tense of "stand." There is no ambiguity about this as there is with sneaked and snuck.

One should say:

"Melanie and Doug stayed at the hotel the entire night."

One should NOT say:

"Melanie and Doug stood at the hotel the entire night."

Were someone to say the latter, Miss Grammers might inquire why the hotel did not have any beds forcing the guests of this establishment to stand the entire night. Were Melanie and Doug tired after standing for an entire night? Did Melanie and Doug have to stand guard because some one could have sneaked in and dragged them away?

You will find the complete conjugation of "stay" here: Conjugation of Stay

Take and Took

Took is the past tense of take.
Took is the past tense of take. | Source

Take and Took

Perhaps the confusion with "drag," "sneak." and "stay" arises from ”take” which becomes "took" in the past tense. "Take" is an irregular verb, which means it does not follow the normal rules of conjugation. The past tense of "take" is not “taked,” but “took.”

It appears that some people try to employ the same irregularity to other verbs.

You will find the complete conjugation of "take" here: Conjugation of Take

Take this quiz to see how well you learned the lesson.


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Who is Miss Grammers?

Miss Grammers can sometimes be staid, but under that austere exterior beats a heart which yearns for frivolity. Consequently, she uses a bit humor and naughtiness to spice up the grammar lesson. It is more fun for the instructee as well as for the instructor.

“Instructee” is a “neologism” which means a newly-coined word or a made-up word. You may not find instructee in the dictionary, but its meaning is obvious, is it not?

Miss Grammers is just having a bit of fun. You would not deny Miss Grammers a bit of fun would you? Afterall, when one has set oneself up as the “Grammar Enforcer,” one must take one's fun where one can find it..

Miss Grammers

Miss Grammers has a staid exterior.
Miss Grammers has a staid exterior. | Source

Take this poll just for fun.

Which of these statements best describes you?

See results

© 2014 Catherine Giordano

Miss Grammers always welcomes your comments.

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    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      You are a person after my own heart. Such things drive me mad, especially if uttered by professionals such as presenters, politicians and the like.

      Language evolves but there is a huge difference between social changes and sheer laziness!

      Great hub and I love the humour. I can hear the whip cracking!

      Ann

    • goatfury profile image

      Andrew Smith 2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      I have been called a "grammar Nazi" by my friends for years now, but I'm starting to shake that moniker by lightening up.

      The tone of your article is both light and informative, and I think that's the way to go. I guess it's the "more flies with honey" principle in action.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Thanks for reading and letting me know you enjoyed my hub. A half hour after I posted this, a news anchor on TV was talking about the Ray Rice incident and said "He drug the woman out of the elevator." I wanted to scream. I'm going to email this to the anchor.

    • goatfury profile image

      Andrew Smith 2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Ha! Ever check out Grammar Girl? I figure you'd enjoy her work as well.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Yes, I sometimes use Grammar Girl in my research. I always check several sources because sometimes they disagree. I think my answers are more complete than hers. Also, I use humor. I wouldn't want you to think Miss Grammers is a copy-cat.

    • goatfury profile image

      Andrew Smith 2 years ago from Richmond, VA

      You don't think Grammar Girl uses humor?

      I don't think you're copying at all; it's an entirely different style. She's first person, too.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Perhaps, a different sort of humor. I don't really remember. I haven't checked her in a while. She has a book. I think mine could eventually be a book too.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 2 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I love you, Miss Grammers!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Miss Grammers is wonderful, so helpful but with a humorous tone. I need a lot of help so I will be checking back with her regularly. Voted up.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      Thank you so much. Miss Grammers wants me to tell you she is at your service. If you have a question, perhaps I'll do a hub on it.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I love you too or is it naughty to say so?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 2 years ago from Orlando Florida

      I was just horrified to discover that I wrote "I swum" when I should have written "I swam" and the I compounded the error by writing "She sunk" when I should have written "She sank." Even I, who dare to assume the persona of The Naughty Grammarian," must remain eternally vigilant. Those pesky irregular verbs!

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