I am proofreading a text with the following sentence: "By the time Henry died, he had helped paved the way for the future of economics."

If "helped paved" is incorrect (and should be "helped pave" instead), why does the internet list so many published instances of it? Please see link:


Thank you very much!

  • 4
    "helped pave" is correct, and there may be many instances of the incorrrect version due to plagiarism — website authors blindly copying content fom other sites. – Weather Vane Mar 13 at 17:56
  • 5
    Because there are a lot of poorly edited books, presumably. – Juhasz Mar 13 at 17:57
  • Interestingly, Ngram finds almost no uses prior to 1974, but after that date usage skyrocketed. I'm guessing that "helped paved" somehow made it into Indian or Chinese English, or one of the other dialects. – Hot Licks Apr 12 at 21:04
  • I will note that, in dictation, "helped pave the ..." will often sound very close to "helped paved the ...". Of course, a good stenographer would catch this, either in the original dictation or during subsequent editing, but I suppose not all stenographers are that good. – Hot Licks Apr 12 at 21:20

I suggest that since "helped paved" is probably always followed by "the", then given that the spoken utterance "helped paved the" is almost indistinguishable from from "helped pave the", that the grammatically wrong form has always sounded (more or less) correct.

Isn't it probable that this detestable habit has something to do with the spell-checking apps we all have to use now?

  • This mistake became popular in the 70s, well before spell-checking apps were common, much less grammar-checking apps. – Hot Licks Apr 12 at 21:21
  • @HotLicks Do you mean "popular" or "frequent" :-) – BoldBen Apr 13 at 9:42
  • @BoldBen - Whichever you prefer. – Hot Licks Apr 13 at 12:12
  • 1
    @I'd go with "frequent". It's not popular with me. 😅 – BoldBen Apr 15 at 8:24

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