With authors writing in English as a second language increasingly predominating, especially in technical fields, irregular verbs get regularized. As an editor, should I give up the Canute-like** struggle against the oncoming tide of forecasted and the like?

** Yes, I know ... !

  • 2
    I disagree. These mistakes are commonly made by native speakers of the language, as well.
    – Jimi Oke
    Jun 22, 2011 at 12:08
  • Surely you mean incoming tide? ;^)
    – Robusto
    Jun 22, 2011 at 12:41
  • @Robusto: The incoming tide is oncoming if you are sitting in it! Jun 22, 2011 at 13:19
  • @Jimi: I agree with your second statement, which is consistent with what I said, but am puzzled by your initial disagreement. What, precisely, is false in my statement? Jun 22, 2011 at 13:46
  • @John: My disagreement lay with your implication of ESL authors as responsible for the onslaught of improperly conjugated irregulars. But I see now that my disagreement may have been misplaced, as it seems that your statement stems directly from your professional experience as an editor.
    – Jimi Oke
    Aug 28, 2011 at 4:12

2 Answers 2


As editor? Of course not!

However, in this case, according to dictionary.com

verb, -cast or -cast·ed

both forms are correct.

So, it is a matter of style and it depends on guidelines you decide to enforce.


My advice:

  • Never give up on your own stuff! Make it as good as it can be, in grammar, style and content.
  • Stop bothering about other peoples' stuff. I call this "stop the tut"! - and try to stop myself from tutting when I see bad spelling or grammar. English evolves :)

I found that once I let go of spelling errors in facebook posts, texts, email etc - let alone public signage or notices! - I enjoyed life more. I might have an occasional chuckle to myself about bad grammar on a sign, and if someone asks, I'll always try to help. But I don't correct them.

  • 4
    Good advice in general but @John Bentin says that he is an editor. As an editor, I don't think he can "stop bothering about other people's stuff".
    – Tragicomic
    Jun 22, 2011 at 12:20

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.