20 June 2010


This is from the front page of the Guardian on-line news for 20 June 2010:Note the use of beared, where traditionally we would say born. If enough people use beared rather than born, then beared will become the standard past participle of bear.

This is a process of regularisation, where irregular forms slowly get replaced by regular ones. Once, dove was the past tense form of dive, but now most people say dived instead, because dived is regular.

I have previously noted that English usage in places such as Brunei and Singapore might be contributing to this process of language change through regularisation (e.g. here, here and here). But of course this process occurs in places such as the UK and USA as well, and it is even evident in respected newspapers such as The Guardian.