The past-tense of to cast is cast, not *casted. The past perfect of to cast, likewise, is was cast, as in

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 12:9

Similarly, the past-tense of to forecast is forecast, not *forecasted.

He forecast that the German bund rate would increase from its level of 25 basis points a year ago.

Robert Huebscher, “Gundlach’s Forecast for 2018“, Advisor Perspectives, 9 January 2018

For some reason, I keep seeing “forecasted” all over the place, especially with reference to predicted earnings and so forth in business, but also with reference to the weather.

I suppose we’ll be seeing “beated” and “betted” and “hitted” and so on, as well.


“Non full-page redactions”

The document-review application I use at work allows me to review an image of a document before it’s discovered to the adversary, and, if I want, to delete all the mark-ups (highlights and “redactions“) that have been applied to it, using this dialogue box:

Note that the choices for redactions are “Non full-page redactions” and “Full-page redactions”. Why non full-page? Because some computer coder made the box, who didn’t know that the alternative to “full” is “partial”. Good grief!



The UK’s unseasonal weather, dubbed ‘glorious’ by a complacent press, feels like a sign that something is horribly wrong

Sub-headline, Guardian, 26 February 2019

The UK’s weather (that is, Great Britain’s weather, the United Kingdom being a state, not a place) has always been seasonal, and will continue to be seasonal, even with climate change. What the writer of the sub-headline means is unseasonable, which the writer of the article, John Elledge, gets right.


I’ve noticed lately that people tend to put “kindly” into formal requests in rather an odd way, as, for example:

We kindly ask that you register in advance.

Surely they mean, “We ask that you kindly register in advance.” There’s nothing kind about their asking, and it’s a bit rude of them to describe themselves as kind. That is, it would be if they were doing it consciously, but they’re surely not. This is just one of those expressions people use automatically, without any thought of what they actually mean.

Us, We



Here’s a headline from the New York Times this week:

Sleepless Flies Lived Long Lives. Why Not Us?

Why didn’t sleepless flies live us? Why didn’t us live long lives?

Dear Reader, I’ve said it before. English has two measly cases. Is it too much to ask that we use them right?

By the way, this cut-line from the same article is a stunning example of the newspapers’ war on the comma:

Researchers developed a system for monitoring fruit flies kept track of their movements with cameras and used tiny motors that would tip the flies any time they went still for 20 seconds.

I defy anybody to make sense of that sentence before reading the whole thing. “Researchers developed a system for monitoring fruit flies kept track of their movements . . . .” Surely, I thought as I read it, a word is missing here. No, I realized, after I reached the period: not a word, just a couple of commas.



, ,

Another term that lawyers commonly misuse (see yesterday’s post about deposing), and whose misuse has been adopted by the paid praters, is the verb to redact.  Lawyers typically use it to mean, delete, as in “I redacted the third paragraph because it contained privileged information.” When lawyers “redact” text, however, they don’t merely delete it: they usually blank it out and indicate that it has been “redacted”.

Deletions from a “redacted” document are accordingly referred to as “redactions”.

Redaction and the corresponding verb, to redact, properly have to do with creating or editing a document, not necessarily with deleting anything from it. I first encountered the words in connection with ancient biblical texts and related documents. There is a school of scriptural criticism called redaction criticism, for instance, which compares different redactions of the same text, in order to draw various inferences regarding, among other things, the underlying original (usually lost) or the beliefs of the redactor.