The Corner

re: One Fifty

An e-mail from a reader, in response to this.

You are a published author and I respect that. I have little claim to being any sort of grammarian as my wife would tell you if you inquired.  But you had a post this morning in The Corner about Lincoln in which you recount that he “snuck” into D.C. Yes, this word is an Americanism.  And I am American true-blue, through-and-through. But I truly believe that if you had turned in a paper in public school pre-1970 you would have had points taken off for using this instead of sneaked.  Besides, it is inelegant in its sound.  OK, small beer, I realize.  Forgive the intrusion.

My reply:

I actually gave this some thought and almost wrote “sneaked” but decided against it because “snuck” is what I would say in conversation and one of my dictionaries defined it as an acceptable colloquialism. But point taken. It’s good to hear from readers who care about words.

Maybe the comment section can offer its own verdict. Is it okay to have sneaked in “snuck”?

John J. Miller — John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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