Lead, by example

When proofreading, one mistake occurs more than any other: ‘Lead’ used instead of ‘Led’.

For example, it appears that the majority of the English-speaking world would write ‘He lead me up the garden path…’ when it should in fact be ‘He led me up the garden path…’

Here’s proof (thanks to www.oxforddictionaries.com):

verb (past and past participle led /lɛd/)

[with object]

cause (a person or animal) to go with one by holding them by the hand, a halter, a rope, etc. while moving forward:she emerged leading a bay horse

[with object and adverbial of direction] show (someone or something) the way to a destination by going in front of or beside them:she stood up and led her friend to the door

It’s pretty obvious why – both ‘lead’ and ‘led’ can be pronounced the same – but only if you’re referring to lead as in ‘a chemical element in the carbon group with symbol Pb’!

Not to worry though, at least it keeps my proofreading service busy!

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