Tuesday, June 21, 2016

French fried vs. French fry

Roger Funkhauser wrote to me at wordmall@aol.com and asked. “Is it more proper to use ‘ice tea’ instead of ‘iced tea’ or doesn’t it make a difference?"

It should definitely be iced tea. It has to be the past participle form. Ice tea would be made from ice. Iced tea is tea that has been iced. The past participle form emphasizes something that has been _______. That said, since d and t are dentals (formed by touching the tongue against the back of the teeth), elision quite naturally takes place, so it sounds like ice tea. The mistake has been compounded by the popular rapper Ice-T, formerly known as Tracy Lauren Marrow.

Here are some other misspelled past participle forms:

MISTAKE                       SHOULD BE

shell peas                          shelled peas
ice beer                             iced beer
an occupy seat                 an occupied seat
husk corn                          husked corn
mask man                         masked man
french fry potatoes            french fried potatoes
checker past                     checkered past
unleash dog                      unleashed dog
block punt                         blocked punt
broke faucet                      broken faucet

froze food                         frozen food

Listen to Mike’s program in real time every Tuesday morning, 9:10 - 10:00 a.m. EST, by going to wtcmradio.com and clicking on Listen Now. You’ll also find about a month’s worth of podcasts there under The Ron Jolly Show.


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