Sink, Sank, Sunk

This is a Blast from my Past.  August 2017 to be precise.  And it is still happening!


Now, I am not the Grammar Police. I am not an expert in all things grammatical. What I am, is an English and Drama Major from a reputable University.  I love words. I love the way they can paint a picture. I love their relationship with each other. I love when they are used well. And I hate it when they are perverted.

Just a heads up . . . I am going to have a little rant and I do not wish to offend anyone. If anybody wishes to move on, I promise not to talk about you behind your back. However . . . .

The boat is about to sink. The boat sank. The boat was sunk.  That wasn’t too difficult. So why is it the newscasters are now saying sunk when they mean sank?  Aaaahhhh!  It irks me. It truly irks me.

When I was growing up I was taught that they were three tenses:  past, present and future. (Yes, I know, even that gets more complicated) Now anyone that comes to English as a second language realizes that it is not an easy one to learn. It contradicts itself, it misrepresents and it is basically confusing. I have always felt that the newscasters were the ones who should get it right.  After all, they expect us to listen.

Now, language is well and truly alive. It is in a constant state of evolution.  And that is a good thing. I’m quite pleased I no longer have to say ‘thou’ and ‘thy’, ‘forsooth’, and ‘by your leave’. I even welcome some of the slang that has entered into the mainstream. English is definitely a colourful language. But, why oh why are you cutting out a tense?

I realize how difficult it is to actually speak correctly. You have to open your mouth to a certain diameter, your lips must be pursed in the appropriate shape and you must vibrate those vocal cords with control. And the control seems to be slipping.

“It seems another boat sunk off the coast of . . .”  Me:  It sank you idiot! It sank!  And that’s not the only case. It’s just not boats that can’t figure out when they’re entering the deep, dark depths.  Drink, drank, drunk. Sing, sang, sung.  Swim, swam, swum.

I know that the English language is changing. I can’t say I like all the changes but as usual I will adapt. But it’s really nice to every now and then have a little rant. Please don’t hate me as I sink slowly into the quagmire that is the English language. And I was born into it! Whew!  Oh, and in the spirit of full disclosure: not all writers follow the rules exactly. They can’t, it can mess up the spirit of what they’re writing. I am guilty as charged.

38 thoughts on “Sink, Sank, Sunk

  1. Murphy’s Law

    Pam, this is a great post! Timely even today , and that’s sad. How about the way ‘then/than’ are abused. A very enjoyable rant my friend. And a justified one too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dan Antion

    I will share this post with The Editor, as she has corrected me on – I was about to say choices, but they are not choices, or should not be considered as such – proper use. Feel free to rent/rant/runt all you want 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Dan Antion

        Her comment to me is: “My current issue is with the disappearance of the word ‘fewer’, and the word ‘less’ being used all of the time.”

        I might know someone in this household that has made that mistake.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Rivers Renewed

    Forsooth! Oh no. I love your comments about our language changing, and how it evolves. Remember when were growing up and were told not to use the word “ain’t”! Cause it ain’t a word! Now we use it all the time. And I’ve never heard the word swum. Are you sure that’s a word? LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. joylennick

    I am very much on your side, Pamela, and have my own pet hates. “I would of thought…” Where did ‘have’ go to? (and plain “I think” is even better.) And don’t start me on apostrophies..So many get them wrong.Hey ho..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jennie

    You certainly hit my grammar nerve. Not sunk, WAS sunk. The one that drives me crazy is “I graduated the University of…”. No, you graduated FROM the University, or you are a graduate OF the University. Thank goodness I had a wonderful English teacher. We conjugated every verb. Do they still do that is school? Don’t get me started on punctuation….

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dale

    Ugh! You and me both, Pamela. I think I go so far as to get a twitch when people who supposedly studied in communication to get to where they are make these kinds of mistakes. You and you’re are HUGE pet peeves of mine but when you listen to people speak, how can they not write it wrong when they SAY is wrong?
    I seen it yesterday – twitch
    I done it already – twitch
    and so it goes… 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Widdershins

    My greatest peeve since I moved over here is the absence of the past tense of spit! …No-one says ‘spat’! It’s mind-boggling! It sounds ridiculous to hear someone say, ‘He spit the seed out’ … or worse still read it.
    Like you I create my own ‘in-novel’ grammar rules, because that’s what we do, and I understand that English is the bastard child of every other language on the planet, but evolution is one thing, lousy communication is another.
    There, that’s my rant done too! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. quiall Post author

      I am so on your side! I did not know about ‘spat’, my mother would be horrified. I can still taste the soap she used to wash out my mouth when I spat at someone. Lesson learned.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. K.L. Hale

    I can’t I unthink what I’ve thunk now, Pam! Is thunk really a word? I’ll have to look that up! As a special education teacher I used a program based on “The Writing Road to Reading” (Spaulding). Our 77 phonograms (updated now to 84) were taught to assist the students in understanding how letters are combined to make sounds. From this we expanded to grammar. I’m far from perfect; however, the 2nd-4th graders at this time (29 years ago) had much better grammar than what I hear today!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Mark Lanesbury

      And the slang these days is so unintelligible. Now I know it is another language all in itself but even the english has been bedazzled beyond belief. If we obtained someone born in the 1900 and let them hear our current language they would probably not have a clue and ask which foreign country did this come from 😂 🤣

      Liked by 2 people


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