Wednesday, September 20, 2006

She hasn't waked up

June Casagrande, is author of, Grammar Snobs Are Great Big Meanies, has started writing and a column in the Burbank Leader. In the most recent, she makes the bizarre claim that the past participle of wake up is waked up and that woken up is wrong. [See clarification here.]
"Yes, you heard me right. Today I wake up. Yesterday I woke up. In the past I have waked up. There is no "woken up." There's a "woken," but it doesn't take an up...What's more, "woken" is really more of a British thing. "Woken," in British English, is the past participle not of "wake up" but of just plain old "wake." But American English prefers "waked.""
Of course, she doesn't explain what she bases this wild claim on (though she implies it's Garner's Modern American Usage), but we can easily check it out. It will be difficult to distinguish between past tense and past participle uses, but since there's "no woken up" at all, that shouldn't matter much. In fact, in the first stop on our data-gathering ex-po-tition, we find that the British National Corpus has 141 instances of woken up and only 1 of waked up. Moving on, the LCD American English Spoken Lexicon (you can get a guest account) has 1 woken up and 0 waked up. That's not a lot of data, but... Finally we come to Google, which is unequivocal: 2,930,000 for woken up versus a mere 170,000 for waked up. Yes, Virginia, there is a woken up after all. Surprise, surprise!

Finally, from The American Heritage Dictionary,
"Regional American dialects vary in the way that certain verbs form their principal parts. Northern dialects seem to favor forms that change the internal vowel in the verb—hence dove for the past tense of dive, and woke for wake: They woke up with a start. Southern dialects, on the other hand, tend to prefer forms that add an –ed to form the past tense and the past participle of these same verbs: The children dived into the swimming hole. The baby waked up early."
In other words, this is just one more mendacious claim by another grammar snob who hasn't done her homework. How predictable!

3 comments:

carol propper said...

FINALLY! someone clarifies the "I waked up" or "I woke up"

for the American people

carol propper said...

FINALLY! Someone clarifies the "I waked up" (that I use) and the "I WOKE UP." problem that faces the American people.

weighmac said...

She is wrong I had a very good English teacher. Miss Gilbert, she taught English for more than 40 years. Woken is an old form of awoke used by the less educated in the 1600s and 1700s.