On Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 8:24:01 PM UTC-8, Jerry Friedman wrote:
> On 12/6/17 1:22 PM, Neill Massello wrote:
> > Ross <***@ihug.co.nz> wrote:
> >> I'd like to know how to get a Google ngram entirely on "legal writing".
> So would I.
> >> For the general corpora, the "pleaded/pled" ratio has historically
> >> been of the order of 50:1. But in recent years it seems to have come
> >> down to about 10:1 in AmEng. In other words "pled" is becoming more
> >> common.
> > "Pled" is nearly the only form now used in the American media. The Law
> > of Fewer Syllables, I suppose.
> At COCA, it leads 25 to 24 this year in the spoken corpus, which
> includes CNN, Fox News, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and NPR. All of the hits
> for "pled" are for the sense of "enter a plea in court", but six of
> those for "pleaded" are for the sense of "begged".
> In the newspaper corpus this year, "pleaded" leads "pled" 235 to 5. As
> Ben Zimmer said in the article I linked to in my other post, many
> reporters are taught that "pled" is a rookie mistake.
In my experience, that would be a point in the publication's style guide. You
can't say it's wrong. It's in dictionaries and in limited use. But you can
decide which variant your publication will use. The paper that employed me
for 30 years used "pleaded". That style was set before my time there,
so I don't know the reason.