Omigoodness! I saw it again. In a published book. Not just once, mind you. One time and I would have chalked it up to a typo. But twice within just a few pages. If the book had not been required reading for necessary research, I would have cast it aside and never picked it up again.
Lead – a Mineral
Lead is a mineral! It is a noun, not a verb. (Pronounced led.) There can be no past tense of a noun.
Lead – an Action Verb
If you are a leader and you lead someone (pronounced leed), then (past tense) you led them. Even past participle is led. As in “She’s led the club for several years.”
Three little letters L-E-D! You led them. Not – You lead them!
Here are exact quotes from said naughty book that I longed to toss across the room:
“…if your GPS device is like mine, it has probably lead you astray at least once…”
“…you now realize that those duties lead you to land the next few jobs…”
I am not making this up.
Twice in 23 Pages
This means the glaring error passed under the noses of the author, the editors, and the proofreaders (that is, trusting there were proofreaders).
I said it occurred twice in this culprit book. But I must add that I am now on page 23. Total pages in the book – 241. I may see it again in the near future. (Or other closely related family members.)
I hasten to add that the subject matter of this non-fiction book is handled expertly. Its tone contains a combination of well-presented facts and well-placed touches of humor. However, the led/lead experience soured me on the book.
Rather like going to the fridge to grab the milk container. You pour a tall glass full, head to the couch with your handful of Oreos and settle in for a nice treat. The first gulp tells the tale. The milk’s gone sour. That glass of milk still looks good, but you’re probably not going to want to finish the whole glass.
My Rare Rant
Those of you who follow my Be A Novelist blog site can attest to the fact that I seldom rant. This is my rant for the year. (Quarter? Month? I don’t want to box myself in.) smile
Do Yourself a Favor
Can I make the case any stronger than this?
If you respect your reader (and want to be respected by your reader), if you want to be “heard” through your writing, if you long to have a career as a novelist (or any other type of writer/author), do yourself and your readers a huge favor – invest whatever time and sacrifice it takes to study the English language in general, and grammar in particular.
Get the lead out and DO it!
I trust the teaching and instruction given in this blog post was helpful in your goal to be a novelist. For more in-depth writer’s workshops, check out the wide variety offered at the Be A Novelist Website.
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