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. Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 17:56
  • 5
    Because there are a lot of poorly edited books, presumably.
    – Juhasz
    Commented Mar 13, 2019 at 17:57
  • Common is not the same as prevalent.
    – choster
    Commented Apr 12, 2019 at 20:29
  • 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
    Commented Apr 12, 2019 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
    Commented Apr 12, 2019 at 21:20

1 Answer 1


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
    Commented Apr 12, 2019 at 21:21
  • @HotLicks Do you mean "popular" or "frequent" :-)
    – BoldBen
    Commented Apr 13, 2019 at 9:42
  • @BoldBen - Whichever you prefer.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 13, 2019 at 12:12
  • 1
    @I'd go with "frequent". It's not popular with me. 😅
    – BoldBen
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 8:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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