Monday, May 30, 2005

I've Forgot

Long day today, extra classes, and it doesn't help that I worked 12+ hours yesterday and stayed up until 3am this morning. And I'm sick, but that's fine. Sore throat, and some sort of sore on my lip that has puffed it out so it looks like I'm chewing tobacco.

Not that I'm complaining.

But, even with all that, I still spotted two mistakes in my first class. We're doing games today (first time in 3rd grade this school year), and the students have handouts with word-searches and crossword puzzles.

Well, on one of the word-searches, you aren't given a list of words, you're give a bunch of pictures representing actions, and you have to find the words that match. Or, you do what most of us did, you found words and tried to find a picture that matched. Well, a lot of the students found a word that didn't match any picture, and it was causing a bit of a ruckus. So, I counted words on the answer sheet, and pictures on the word-search. 25 words, 24 pictures. Weak.

The last crossword puzzle (which the students didn't get to during class) gives a sentence as a clue, with one word that needs to change forms. One clue was:

"I've (forget) his name."

The answer is six letters. Got it? It's 'forgot', right?


Forgot is the past tense form of Forget. But the clue isn't "I (forget) his name." The have requires the past participle form, which is Forgotten. You wouldn't say "We've chose" would you? Well, you might, but you should say "We've chosen." "It's became"? No, "It's become." "I've broke"? No, "I've broken." "He has knew"? Don't be ridiculous. "He has known", of course. It's not rocket surgery.

Now, English is stupid, I'll grant you, but this company, whose JOB is to make and distribute helpful handouts, has had errors on TWO of the FOUR worksheets I've used today. That's 50%, for you non-math majors (I used a calculator).

And that's just the first class. I have a feeling it's going to be a long, LONG day.

1. After checking numerous dictionaries (at least eight, probably more), I have found TWO references to the use of 'forgot' as past-participle. Both are for British English. It's still not the past-participle in American English. However, they didn't mention which was correct for Japanese English. Sigh.

2. One of the pictures was a woman walking, holding a purse. This apparently counts for both the word 'walk' and the word 'have'. Although, why not the boy eating a piece of fruit? He's eating and holding. Or the girl with the treasure? She found it, now she has it. Meh.

One of the sites that listed 'forgot' as past-participle in British English has changed their page, so that it is no longer listed as a past-participle in either BrE or AmE. Now I'm starting to believe that the one remaining reference is, in fact, incorrect.

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