August 14th, 2008

swim, swam, swum

The other day I said something to the effect of "I wonder if Phelps has swum for another gold today." The people around me (family) unanimously said "Swum? You mean swam!" They thought the form was "has swam." I said, not so, the past participle of swim is swum. I had to show them the word in the dictionary, with its definition, for them to believe me.

Isn't that strange? I wonder if the word is undergoing a metamorphosis, when a word as common as "swim" loses its paradigm. And is sing, sang, sung going to go the same way.

A Carlin Observation

In the George Carlin book I am reading, I find a curious observation:

Why is it the only time you ever hear the word "figment" it's in relation to the imagination? Aren't there any other kinds of figments?