PR Newswire: news distribution, targeting and monitoring
Aug 8 2013

Grammar Hammer: Pleading the Case

I am based in Cleveland, Ohio, and it’s been a bleak week when it comes to news in Cleveland. The Plain Dealer (in publication since 1842) eliminated around 50 jobs. On my route to work each morning this week, I’ve seen news trucks from every major network, spanning about a city block, with satellites raised, tents and lights up, and cameras pointed at the justice center. There has been almost nonstop coverage of the Ariel Castro case as he was sentenced on Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole plus an additional 1,000 years for the kidnapping and subsequent 10-year hell he subjected three young women to.

As the Ariel Castro case came to a head, a plea deal was struck. Castro was indicted on 977 counts of crime including kidnapping, rape, and aggravated murder. On July 26, 2013, he struck a deal. He pleaded guilty (or is it “he pled guilty?”) and was sentenced on August 1, 2013.

The AP Style Guide doesn’t mince words on pleaded vs. pled. It says, “Don’t use the colloquial past tense form, pled.” OK, got it.

To place a slightly finer point on the subject, the Dictionary of Modern Legal usage recommends “pleaded” as the best past tense and past participle form of “plead” (remember “plea” is a noun, “plead” is a verb).

Read the full post by PR Newswire customer content services manager Cathy Spicer on Beyond PR.

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