The dictionary is an asshole

Last week my family came down to visit and we took all the kids to the community pool.

me:  Have you swum to the end of the pool yet?

Lisa: “Swum?” What are you, some kinda hillbilly?

me:  You can totally say “swum”.  Swum is a word.  Swim, swam, swum.

Lisa:  Like bring, brang, brung?

me:  No. Like…climb, climbed…clumb?  Fuck.

mom:  Like ding, dang, dung.

me:  Stop helping.

Lisa:  I think mom just called you “dung”.

Mom: I’m not getting involved in this.

me:  Whatever.  Swum is totally a real word.  Who’s the writer in this damn family?

Then they both just looked at me with their eyebrows raised because apparently real writers don’t have fights about whether “swum” is a word but then as soon as we got back to the house I googled it and swum totally came up as a real word in the dictionary and I was just about to yell “HA!  I FUCKING TOLD YOU SO!” but then I stopped myself because I’m a gracious winner.  And also because the dictionary is a tremendous asshole:

I've just been insulted by the dictionary. Awesome.

Comment of the day: All of them.  For real.  You need to read them all.  As usual, my commenters are way funnier than me.  The bastards.

201 replies. read them below or add one

  1. Swing, swang, swung?

    Miss Grace recently posted Diptych - Angular.

  2. I was pretty sure swum is a word.

    I think the dictionary is messing with you.

  3. No fucking way lol! That’s just to funny.

  4. Fact: real writers know that the dictionary is an asshole. In fact, any book that’s sold more copies than said writer’s book is an asshole. (Yeah, I’m looking at you, The Bible.)

    That Kind Of Girl recently posted TKOG Who’ll race you to the end of the block providing there’s a hospital there.

  5. Swum is a word. But only in the retrospectively racist dialogue of Great American Novels.

    Margaret recently posted Wait for the Ding! or- The Day We Thought We Were Dead.

  6. “Swum” is totally a real word. What do they want you to use? “Swimmed?” Swimmed sounds like a kinder-gardener who hasn’t learned the word “swum” yet and is just making things up as a placeholder.

    Sono recently posted I Have Eaten A Lot Of Ramen Lately.

  7. My sister-in-law and her husband constantly argue over “funner” or “more fun.” And why is it bring, brought?? Why even have “rules” in English if they don’t mean anything?

  8. ‘mongst de drift? Like de-nile? oh shit, that’s not really a word either. Screw ‘em. Let’s write our own dictionary with words like “sugarballs” and “cock block”

    Zephyr recently posted You Look Like a Girl Who Can Take Care of Herself.

  9. Real Hillbilly’s know it ain’t swum. It’s “done swum”. As in: “Mayonnaise lots of people who done swum across this here river”

  10. When I was in fourth grade, we had a grammar unit that conjugated swim as “swim, swam, swum,” and I was just CERTAIN it was wrong, but it wasn’t, and neither were you.

    ChiaLynn recently posted Daily Excerpt- 7-1-2010.

  11. It’s an irregular verb, and the past participle of ‘swim’ is ‘swum’.

    Check it out, bitches: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/swim

    cenobyte recently posted Thunder.

  12. swum (sw?m)
    v. Past participle of swim.
    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
    Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

    i would believe that over thefreedictionary.com.

  13. Doesn’t matter, all non-words become words eventually. It’s so ardupatterful.

    The Great Joe Bivins recently posted My Imaginary Sketchbook.

  14. Swum is TOTALLY a word. You wouldn’t say “Have you swam to the end of the pool.” Here’s my proof, and you can send this to Lisa.

    http://www.verb2verbe.com/conjugation/english-verb/swim.aspx

  15. If it’s not a word I’m screwed!

    AmazingGreis recently posted One Week….

  16. I am not even kidding — my husband and I just had the EXACT same conversation the other night. Who doesn’t know swum is a word? Weren’t they paying attention at all in elementary school?

    Madame Queen recently posted I Think I Deserve A Ribbon This Time.

  17. Baaahhhhhhh hahahaaaa. And yes, swum is totally a word. ;)

  18. Hahaha…I can’t believe that it came up that way! What a sentence. Okay I let my fingers do some walking through some pressed wood.. you know paper….

    Webster’s Dictionary

    swum: past part of swim

    There. Now go say I told you so safely :)

    Tickled Red recently posted Shrimp Grits Love.

  19. My mind tells me swam = swum. But my mind also tells me that tip + dump = tump. I love tump.
    LONG LIVE WORDS THAT ONLY MAKE SENSE TO THE PEOPLE THAT USE THEM!!

    Brooke recently posted Week 47- Fruit.

  20. Damn, that dictionary’s just jealous ’cause you’re a real writer, and it’s written by some guy hunched over a computer unable to handle an office job. And you’re hilarious and hunched over a computer.

    Hence the rabid jealousy.

  21. Sounds like Google is the asshole!

    Karen recently posted Random ramblings.

  22. As a British citizen and someone who speaks the Queen’s English as one is supposed to speak it, I have always used the word swum. And according to the Oxford English dictionary (the last word on the English language) it is the past participle of swim and perfectly acceptable to add to one’s vocabulary.

    How exactly did your sister propose you worded it?

    Have you swimmed to the end of the pool yet? Have you swam to the end of the pool yet? Ye Gads! How dreadful – my ears are bleeding.

  23. You should write Webster’s and demand they reconsider.

    Kellie recently posted Making Something Out of Nothing.

  24. No fucking way. What the hell? This is hilarious!

  25. Sure it is! Here’s an example:
    “Yesterday, I swum all up in that motherfucker, bitchez!”

  26. Shakespeare used to make stuff up all the time, so even if swum wasn’t a word (and it totally is – like “flang”), it would be now. Take that, Dictionary!

    kyknoord recently posted Holy acrimony.

  27. Kind of reminds me of kids who pronounce the ED at the end of words. “And then Sean kick-ED me in the leg!”
    I think we should all talk like that. It would give me more people to make fun of – because apparently I’m not allowed to make fun of my daughter. I’ve been told it’s tacky.

  28. I’m with the british chick.

  29. The regular past tense of “swim” is “swam” unless the verb is preceded by a helping verb. Then it’s “swum,” exactly as you said.

    Now you can tell Lisa to go to hell. And now we can *all* see why I never get laid.

    Kim recently posted Maybe auto makers are just really pessimistic.

  30. My husband said his boys swum upstream. It’s a word. LOL

  31. I resent the fact that people would label one with improper English usage a hillbilly. (Southern slur) We might say, bless your heart or mash that button but we from the South understand words.

  32. Drink Drank Drunk I say

    Becky Mochaface recently posted Hump Day Humor- Apple Friend Bar.

  33. Swum is definitely a word in British English, and as we invented the language I think we get to say which words are real – this why I’m adamant that glumpy is so a real word.

    Kate recently posted My neverending wait for a T-Mobile phone.

  34. Let’s conjugate ‘fuck’ next. (it is TOO a word!)

  35. Fuck the dictionary. Even linguists say so.

    mrsubjunctive recently posted New Plants.

  36. Becky just made me have flashbacks to college with her drink, drank, drunk. I always hated that fucking rule.

    Karen recently posted Random ramblings.

  37. So my English teacher is rolling over her grave right now. I think swum is a word if you have a mullet and your house is on wheels.

  38. It’s okay. I find myself using “drunk” a lot. Like “Yeah, I drunk it all”.

    Bridget Callahan recently posted What People Will Do for T-Shirts.

  39. What the hell else would you say if you didn’t say ‘swum’? *Truly mystified*

  40. Mmm conjunction junction. Writers are supposed to make up their own words. For example, I prefer freak, frake, froke to the more traditional conjugation. As in – I totally froke out when I realized conjugation wasn’t actually conJUNGation – a disgusting sexual act involving Carl Jung and my “inner spaces.”

    Elly Lou recently posted Time to Strut.

  41. as always, you are entertaining AND educational

    thank you

  42. Look. All you have to do is put words you make up on Urban Dictionary and it automatically becomes “real”. I mean have you SEEN some of the words on that website? They definitely didn’t exist before they made it on there.

    Caitlin recently posted I swear Im not dead but kinda I feel like I am.

  43. fick, fack, fuck? amiright? sisters should totally stop being so snooty about EVERYTHING!

  44. i totally just looked up swum. It’s in there but I didn’t see it used in a sentence…….wtf? I say swum too…..you’re not alone.

  45. Haha. I love it. Sometimes, I put my own entries on Urban Dictionary to prove a point/make it look like I’m right.

    It rarely works.

    Miss Wisabus recently posted Sheldon Cooper might be my guardian TV star Oh dear.

  46. verb conjugating with The Bloggess… Who’d have thought? Maybe next time you should say, “Have you swamboozled to the end of the pool yet?” That’s what I’m asking next time we’re in the pool!

    Shirley recently posted Back To School Shopping.

  47. I think your insult totally has to do with the ‘free’ before dictionary. Not everything free is good.

  48. *unless the verb is preceded by a helping verb*
    *past participle*

    This used to be a fun place to come, came, cum.

    Suzy recently posted LA Sign Of The Times 60.

  49. Dude, you better learn your family ’bout the past participle. Learn them by whackin them upside the head with the a-hole dictionary.

    Ells recently posted News Big Huge.

  50. –>It sure beats Swim, Swam, Drowned.
    ~deb
    http://www.websavvymom.com

    WebSavvyMom recently posted Flashback Friday Part 62 - Special Forces.

  51. I totally swum to the end of the pool the other day after I drunked all the wine coolers. Which, you know, isn’t easy to do.

  52. I am just enjoying saying Lisa Hartwell’s response outloud, with a British accent. “Ye gads! How dreadful, my ears are bleeding” sounds so much better if you pretend you are the Queen.

    MidLifeMama recently posted And the knot unravels just a little.

  53. Bwahahahaha! That is awesome…. sorry :)

    Katie recently posted Not until Ive had my coffee.

  54. We use the word swum when purchasing more liquor. For example, “I’ll take another swum of those bottles of vodka”. Is that wrong?

    LookieLou, @TPPCtv, Web TV for Pet Lovers recently posted What Wildlife Teaches Us-Free Donuts At The Office- When People Attack.

  55. “Swum” is totally a real word. Your sister is wrong, and TheFreeDictionary.com sucks. :)

    Kelly recently posted Attitude I.

  56. I believe the correct term is “hill folk.”

    Rachael recently posted Close Call.

  57. Hey, the “real” dictionary was greatly enhanced by an actual madman
    “One of the most prolific and long-time contributors was Dr. W.C. Minor who was incarcerated in a mental hospital for the incurably insane…” http://www.webster.edu/~corbetre/personal/reading/winchester-madman.html

    Now i feel like crap because I’m not insane (thats what the voices tell me) and i can’t even get my computer to accept my words. Thanks a lot dead-insane-guy

  58. Swum is one of those words where, the longer you look at it or repeat it, the less real it seems. But it IS!

    And, @Lisa Hartwell, I thought you Brits weren’t “citizens”; aren’t you “subjects”?? speaking of the Queen…? :-)

    @Happyhourmary, “mash that button” is one of my fave “southernisms” :-)

    gurukarm (@karma_musings) recently posted What to Read Next… if you- or someone in your life- are 5ish – or even if not!.

  59. And, @mrsubjunctive? AWESOME link, thanks! Best line in the post: “But history and sense are rarely allowed to interfere with peeving.” Indeed. Indeed.

    gurukarm (@karma_musings) recently posted What to Read Next… if you- or someone in your life- are 5ish – or even if not!.

  60. Pluralization is another issue worthy of Prozac. Example: the moose on my lawn. How many? Because a bunch of moose is moose. I still contend they should be meese. For clarity. But then a neighborhood should be full of hice, not houses. Unless the houses have mouses and not mice. See how it goes. English is the asshole here.

    Pauline recently posted People- Once More Into The Thames.

  61. If some math guy came up with “imaginary numbers” to solve something really important (which I can’t recall at the moment but I could Google it) it seems to me a famous writer such as yourself can totally make up any words necessary. It’s your job, and your God-given right.

    juliejulie recently posted Why I Love Naked Ladies at the Fair.

  62. I figuring that maybe Lisa is more of a visual learner, and went ahead and googled some images for you. Because, as you know, it’s graceful.
    But, I’ll have you know that SWUM is not a very good word to google, friends. But if you think pictures of a woman with invisible nips or this treacherous thing called a VIPER FISH will help her understand, then I’m glad to help. Consider it payment for your marriage counseling services.

    Kristine recently posted Thomas the Train &amp The Ozone Blaster.

  63. It’s how Elmer Fudd says ‘slum.’

    You know, when he needs to say ‘slum’…like the time he chased Bugs Bunny out the ghetto.

    moooooog35 recently posted Like a Great Big Bottle of GENIUS.

  64. 67
    Kanwar Singh Khurana

    SWUM word is used very frequently and so are many more words, if this word is not in the dictionary which is basically a dynamic compilation of often used words, then it should be added.

  65. You know who else is an asshole? The Thesaurus. What a fucking douche.

    Essie recently posted I won something!.

  66. 69
    Peegee Whone

    Oh, you Amurricans & your quaint versions of the English language! In REAL English it’s the past participle of the verb “to swim”. I have swum the Atlantic many times (but I never wanted to stay in America when I got there – because they couldn’t talk proper!)

  67. Check out Vincent Hopper’s “English Verb Conjugations”- it breaks down the verb “to swim” and shows just when and how “swum” can be used properly- a very useful grammar book.

  68. Uhm since your a GREAT WRITER and the only one in the family YOU need to point out to the family that Mark Twains family thought he misused words too, only the poor uneducated would not recognize that you were ” using dialect” . Just feel bad for them. ( also I live where people say ” reach me that” so clearly they are all brilliant writers here, even if most can’t read.

  69. The Dictionary—the OED—defines both swam and swum as past tense and participle of swim.

    One of the two, however, is listed as obsolete and dialect. And it ain’t “swum.”

    HTH.

  70. Fuck (may I say fuck here, or should I stick with fack?). Should have refreshed comments before commenting. Lisa beat me to the OED.

    Mark Bennett recently posted To An Anonymous Document Review.

  71. Haha! FLANG! I say that one too! And I, too, have added to the urban dictionary lexicon. This post rocks. And tomorrow it will have rucked?

  72. The dictionary on my Mac: “Swum: the past participle of swim.” It just sounds funny. You should have yelled at them that you are about to be published too!

    Naked Girl in a Dress recently posted Celebrating Each Step.

  73. 76
    poke salad annie

    That quote that came up was from ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’. The dictionary wasn’t fucking with you – it knew you were a writer and decided to give you an example from classic literature… So if you think about it – the dictionary was paying you a complement – which makes you the asshole. Just sayin’.

  74. Oh, come on. You didn’t include the other example of “swum” that web site gave, which is much more, ah, different:

    If I have swum playfully in profound luminous distances, and if my freedom’s avian wisdom hath come to me:–
    –Thus however speaketh avian wisdom:–”Lo, there is no above and no below! Throw thyself about,–outward, backward, thou light one! Sing! speak no more!
    –Are not all words made for the heavy? Do not all words lie to the light ones? Sing! speak no more!”–
    Oh, how could I not be ardent for Eternity, and for the marriage-ring of rings–the ring of the return?
    Never yet have I found the woman by whom I should like to have children, unless it be this woman whom I love: for I love thee, O Eternity!
    FOR I LOVE THEE, O ETERNITY!

    Now isn’t that better? Even if “avian wisdom” means, of course, “bird brain”.

  75. Bahahaha! I make up words all the time. I also don’t talk to my sister much. Which helps.

    LisahGolden recently posted Short Story- Bad Luck.

  76. Swum – the act of ejaculating on a swing.

    furiousball recently posted campless! ahhh!.

  77. dictionaries, they’re such tools.

    Clover recently posted Holy Crap!.

  78. Since I am so hip, I only use Urban Dictionary…all those other options are so uptight. They really think they are better than the rest of us…Oxford Dictionary can kiss my…
    So Urban Dictionary says the following:
    1. a widely used gramatically “incorrect” past form of swim. The correct past form of swim is swam, but it sounds stupid to say, so we usually say swum instead.
    Ok..wait…let’s move on to #2
    2. a chinese sauce created by two pretty girls in alberta, canada.
    hummm
    3. Fly, dope, etc.
    Things are looking up…let’s move on
    4. cum,seemen
    Sorry, can’t help you…looks like the family wins unless you meant an X-rated Chinese sauce that is FLY

    Coastal Chick recently posted Today is a new day….

  79. “an X-rated Chinese sauce that is FLY”
    now that is awesome!

  80. I think you should have just told the kids to get the fuck out of the pool and walk over to the other side….

    Taps recently posted Especially This.

  81. Cassondra, I would NEVER say “Have you swam to the end of the pool.”, because it’s actually a question. I would say “Have you swam to the end of the pool?” But I would never say either of those two things to Jenny, because she swims like a freaking rock. Straight to the bottom. Instead I might say “Have you drowned yet?”

  82. Touché. But I think you meant “drownded“.

  83. Well, who’d a thunk it?

    Wanderlust recently posted Have you voted for Veronicas boobs.

  84. I thing you should have flunged some winning poo in their direction!

    A Vapid Blonde recently posted Are You Happy.

  85. Swum is right… I think. But now I’m doubting. Though google’s define feature seems to bear this out.

    http://www.google.ca/search?q=define%3A+swum&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    Nat recently posted The portapotty incident.

  86. Where I come from them’s all words. I use to have to walk up yonder, but when we got there we swum.
    Yeah… southern speak is the sensi!

    Holly B recently posted Suck A Fart Wednesday - Award Threefor.

  87. Dictionaries are notoriously elitist and exist only to make you feel stupid because they think the way they spell things is more correct that then way everyone else in the world spells things.

    And by “everyone else in the world” I mean me.

    Also, who was the idiot who decided that if you didn’t know how to spell a word to look it up? If I could look it up, that would mean I already knew how to spell it!!

    I totally decided that most words people used were made up because I sure as hell couldn’t find them in any dictionary.

    Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points recently posted Love and Funny- In Himself’s Words.

  88. I’m with Zephyr, The Bloggess needs to write (another) book. The Bloggess Dictionary. It’ll have swum, and douche canoe, and all the other words we now know the meanings of thanks to Jenny. It’ll sell more than the bible.

  89. swam is the only past tense, i tink… but i r not uh engrish majer.

  90. Perosnally, I suffer from the dreamed/dreamt dilemma. I texted a friend (aka grammar Nazi) the other day and used “dreamed.” A split second after hitting send, I thought “Shit, shit! Now I’m going to get back some smartassed comment about dreamt.” So in order to have my defense ready, I googled “dreamed v. dreamt” (God I love Google), and either is acceptable grammatically. Although clearly dreamed is preferred because, really, can you imagine if Fantine had Dreamt a Dream? Susan Boyle wouldn’t have gotten anywhere singing that.

    Rachel recently posted And thats why God invented the Miracle Bra.

  91. My favorites are the words that didn’t used to be irregular, but got irregularized. Like “slide”. Have you ever heard a baseball announcer say “He slud into third base”? It is AWESOME.
    Also drag/drug. “I drug my ass out of bed today for this?”

    Also! This one isn’t a real one but whenever my boyfriend hugs/squeezes me I like to say that I have been squozen.

    Lora recently posted Inside the box.

  92. I am from Kansas. So I have nothing to add to this conversation. Yet, here I am littering your comments with nothing of value.

    Who’s the asshole now?

    cagey (kelli oliver george) recently posted Her special gift is narcolepsy.

  93. is it “i lied on the couch” or “i laid on the couch”? i think lay is something that happens to you. but i would never say “i lie on the couch.” i’d say “i lay on the couch.” wtf dictionary. i seriously don’t get you either.

  94. If I’m ever wrong about one of these issues, I just claim, “Well, that’s the British way to do it.” That pretty much ends all arguments. You can’t even look up the British way on the internet, because the internet is totally American.
    By the way, I just totally saw a ghost in downtown Quincy, Massachusetts. I should say he was swimming, to be relevant, but he was just walking across the street. (I really need my own ‘blog. And yes, the apostrophe goes there. It’s the British way)

  95. The actual word is “swame”, as in “The swami swame swimmingly across the ocean.” I know. I’m a writer.

    Mary @ Holy Mackerel recently posted The home of silence- and living with a dog who wins every time.

  96. What I love about you is that you posted the dictionary’s example of “swum”. The dictionary totally sided with Lisa.

    My husband once said “squozed”, as in, “I squozed oranges to make juice.” I remind him of that, often.

  97. Yeah, we all know that swum |sw?m| = past participle of swim!
    Swum is for sure a real word! Fuck all ya’lls!

  98. pattypunker – Did you mean to say ‘I got laid on the couch.” No? Then you’re doing something wrong. ;)

    Mandy recently posted Happenings.

  99. “swum” is the pluperfect postcoital participle tense of the infective mood of the verb “swim” which means “To postpone drowning by moving around in the water, usually in non-flattering clothing”

    Hope this helps.

    Hello, Jenny the Bloggess.

    scott recently posted Dude Days.

  100. I’m with you. Besides “real writers” can say whatever the Hell the want anyway. Does anyone really give a flying rat’s ass?

    Bodaciousboomer recently posted Mel could be very Melancholy soon.

  101. I always hate reading the word ‘dived’. It sounds wrong. I like ‘dove’.

  102. Swam, swum…fuck you…The point is this: is that, When I say “jump”, you say “OK”, okay?

    Rene

  103. Brian: If we conjugated fuck, would it be fick, fack, fuck?

  104. So here I am reading your post and laughing away (with you, not at you) when I glance over at the side bar…PENIS REDUCTION PILLS!?! Ok what is that shit all about? Why oh why are you advertising penis reduction pills? Do you even know that you are advertising penis reduction pills?

    NOW I’m laughing at you.

    p.s. That is by far the most (only?) time I have written penis.

  105. I have this ongoing argument about the word hanged. You know, you hung your clothes, you hanged the guy who made you feel dumb when he fixed your computer.

    It’s totally correct grammar (as is swum, by the way.)

  106. 110
    Katherine

    gurukarm (@karma_musings) says: Swum is one of those words where, the longer you look at it or repeat it, the less real it seems. But it IS!

    Forget about SWUM…. *I* have trouble believing THE is a word.

  107. I would be careful about dangling past participles. Especially close to a cliff.

    ~EdT.

    EdT. recently posted Not-Totally-Wordless Wednesday- Meet Lois- the Corpse Flower.

  108. 112
    Tina@sendchocolatenow

    Drink, drank, DRUNK. What the fuck is the problem?

    I am not drinking, shuddap.

    Tina@sendchocolatenow recently posted Why you need large balls of fur in your house.

  109. Webster put the dick in dictionary.

    always home and uncool recently posted Pepsi Refresh Proving Me Wrong.

  110. dictionaries are dicks.

    also “we took all the kids to the community pool.”
    made my tired whiskey colored eyes think this was going to be about pooping in public toilets.

    ClevelandPoet recently posted the one where I write Lilu a bad ode.

  111. Swum sounded good. But brung sort of sounded good when you conjugated there and I thought Lisa was proving your point. Until I thought about using it in a sentence and realized … I’m an idiot.

    me no speaky the english so goods.

    My Baby Sweetness recently posted Yeah- so we’d finally arrived in Charleston part II.

  112. Real writers make up their own words. You’re totally a Real Writer. You family should be bowing to you.

    Donna recently posted Teenager Wisdom.

  113. 117
    Nancy in MN

    I did swum once at the lake.

  114. The rule I live by is that even if I made the word up, as long as it’s used in a sentence, it’s a real word.

    Remember that time we swum to the bridge?

    There you go. It’s now a word. You’re welcome. Screw the asshole dictionary. I do what I want.

    ♥Spot

    Spot recently posted The one where we learn the phrase Apocalypse-worthy.

  115. I have two degrees from Stanford University, both in some way related to English (one in literature, one in education as an English teacher), and swum is definitely the correct word to use there.

    Ah, there are so few opportunities to really open up and be an intellectual snob in defense of someone awesome. That felt nice.

  116. Swum is TOTALLY a word: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_us1296414#m_en_us1296414

    We use it in Trinidad. Marcus uses it in England. That’s two English-speaking places on opposite sides of the globe. Ergo? Swum wins.

    Karen from Chookooloonks recently posted still waiting funkwatch 2010.

  117. You should have just thrown her in the pool.

    MommiePie recently posted Swimming in the Poo.

  118. swim, swam, swum…swamma-lamma-dingdong.

  119. Man thinking he’d like some fish leaves his hotel and gets in a cab in Boston. He says to the driver, “Do you know where I can get scrod.” Driver laughs and says, “Buddy, I’ve been asked that question a million times, but you’re the first guy ever used the past participle.”

    Jonah Gibson recently posted No Accountants Were Harmed in the Making of this Blog.

  120. Too funny! You learn something new everyday. To think I just purchased the updated dictionary with CD.

  121. Goddamn it I have a hundred things I’m supposed to be doing right now but I had to sit here and read every single comment because they were all so rad.

    Fuck you guys.

    fuck yeah, motherhood! recently posted Pee Are The Champions.

  122. Seriously laughed so hard I cried over this post! My family now thinks I’m insane…

  123. Oh, yes, real writers most certainly do sit around fighting about whether or not there is such a word as “swum.”

    I was recently informed there is no such word as “sitten.” Which is strange, because I distinctly remember my mother using it when I was very small: “Have you sitten there long enough? The last time your brother had sitten there all day like that it turned out he’d glued himself to his chair.”

    My husband thinks it’s because my mother’s family were German and “sitzen” is a real German word. But I think it’s because the English language is losing its personality.

    I’ve swum all over the Pacific, and I’m not afraid to admit it.

    Victoria Mixon recently posted 6 Personality Types Who Will Succeed as Writers.

  124. sounds like you brung it.

    Simone recently posted The Wonder Twins are possibly the worst superheroes ever.

  125. No way that the dictionary said that. lol

  126. 131
    Anonymous

    Dude. I tried to articulate a sentence that had the word hung (hanged!?!?) in it the other day. I stuttered for the good part of 2 minutes before I gave up. I STILL DON’T KNOW WHICH ONE WINS HANGED IS JUST TOO AWKWARD TO EXIST!

  127. I think that dictionary definition was written by a court reporter in one of our local courthouses. One of the other attorneys shared his trial transcript with me and, I am not even kidding, it read just like that, complete with random apostrophes in place of letters. I am sure the judge would be pleased to know that he talked like “how you gonna git that into evidence ‘ithout bringin’ the girl up in here.”

    Dani recently posted Crime Watch Wednesday - Special Mom Edition - You Play Cards- Ill Get the Cat.

  128. I add ‘apalooza’ to a lot of words. I’m pretty sure the dicktionary dude would waterboard me for that. So in the spirit of ‘screw you dicktionary dude’, I’m going to support you by working swumapalooza into my next post.

    Rusty Hoe recently posted Patience Is Over-rated.

  129. 134
    Fluffy Laport

    You can say swum, or warsh, or got, or ain’t. You can even start sentences with And because I now go to the church of Angry Rabbit Forehead. That Jesus Toast Church was just a pyramid scam. They are for sure going to hell. Or already got swum there . . .

  130. drink drank drunk!

    i get ya. swum totally exists.

    Insatiablehost recently posted Daily Ramblings of Juno and I part 2.

  131. Haha! Well, if it makes you feel any better, the same thing happened to me when I joined Twitter.

    It took a few weeks and a dozen or so updates, but eventually my old Sunday School teacher sent me a DM, informing me that the past tense of “tweet” wasn’t actually “twat”.

    bschooled recently posted Reader’s Digest – Rejected Humor Submissions.

  132. I always hate it when I hear that people in court have ‘pleaded’ guilty or not guilty — why the gorram frack couldn’t they have ‘pled’ guilty or not?…

    Andrew Ironwood recently posted Found Poem From Someone Elses Random Text Generator Output-Filler.

  133. Swam, swum, swimmed… what the hell, we all get the meaning. People do WAAAY worse things than that to language. Hell, Sarah Palin does worse than that on any given Tuesday!

    Brahm (alfred lives here) recently posted The Village People &amp The Y.

  134. Swum can be a word if it wants to. And I can say I shouldn’t have drunken that last margarita. Look THAT up in your Funk and Wagnall’s!

    JBMONCO recently posted Collected Tweets for Poetry Month 2009.

  135. 140
    pam-tastic

    Then WTF are you supposed to say “swimmed”??? I don’t fucking think so…swimmed…yea…maybe if you’re a drunk, raving Mel Gibson “swimmed” is appropriate, but you’re not – so there! Swum = real word. The End.

  136. 141
    Anonymous

    Briya- I am laughing so hard I’m crying @
    swamma-lamma ding dong!

  137. Ding dong. Dung. (OMG I’m cracking up over here!!!!)

    amy2boys recently posted Shark Bites - The Office.

  138. At least it was just the free dictionary insulting you. It’s not like it was the expensive shit making fun of you and what not.

  139. There is a song by an Australian hip-hop group called Drink, Drank, Drunk. http://www.jplay.com.au/jsite/ViewSong.aspx?SongID=2055. Don’t tell your Mum and your sister. They might cry.

  140. I’m pretty sure Victor re-wrote the internet again just to piss you off.

  141. if swum isn’t a word then fuck the dictionary/thesaurus(who needs that dinosaur anyway?)/encyclopedia fuck the English language okay y’all i am going to go learn Chinese cause they’ll rule the world eventually seriously look at how big their population is, also i am going to learn how to say “douche canoe” in every language possible cause it is an awesomely epic word that should be said in every sentence that comes out of your mouths…..?

    john cardwell recently posted EmperorOfNerds- @zmwester yes! earlier twitter was being a douche canoe and wouldnt let me change it but yoda has prevailed.

  142. That was the FREE dictionary. Never trust the cheap shit, it will always laugh in your face.

    LaraLev recently posted Young people need help too.

  143. “Did thou swimmeth to the other end of the pool…eth?”

    btw I just found an ad for an apartment on Gumtree and I couldn’t rent from someone who has such a poor grasp on grammar:

    “WE ARE NOT AN AGENCY WE WORK STRAIGHTLY FOR THE LANDLORD “

  144. Wait. How did the Free Dictionary have a section of your memoir?

    Ps: I’m British, and all the people arguing against “pleaded”, “hanged”, and “dived” (English as God intended!) are making me twitch. That’s too close to exercise for my liking, so can we please stop talking about grammar?

    Diane recently posted What Angela Means to Me.

  145. Ha! Who knew the dictionary had a sense of humor? Reminds me of the time we looked up ‘agreeance’ (NOT because we thought it was a word, for the record!) and Urban Dictionary told us it was “What stupid people say instead of agreement”

    salwa recently posted Day of Doom.

  146. Cromulent.

  147. Dearest The Original Lisa, thank you for correcting my punctuation. I was so galled at writing the grammatically incorrect “Have you swam…” that I was just trying to get past the end of the sentence and click submit before my head exploded. I noticed my lack of query within 15 seconds of posting. Oh well! I’ll try to do better next time.

    Cassondra recently posted I think my smoke detectors are posessed- or sentient.

  148. I always want to say “drum” for the past tense of dream. I blame it on being raised in Texas.

    LORI recently posted A Pictorial Book Review sometimes you just dont have words.

  149. Has anyone actually read the definition for “word” in the dictionary? Try NOT getting into a fist fight with an English major over that one! Ha! The cops took my side, though.

    Uriah recently posted My Pumpkin has a Penis.

  150. I should be swumming in the sea instead of stuck in here reading posts instead of working.

    We’ll MAKE IT a word

    angelica recently posted on the shadows that cross our path.

  151. The free dictionary is totally mocking you.
    Let’s beat its ass with the free thesaurus.

  152. Fucking Hilarious! Yep…that’s all I’ve got.

    Jenn recently posted The One Where I Have A Dumbass Grin All The Time.

  153. 161
    Ms Knudsen

    From dictionary.com (a REAL online dictionary!)
    swum? ?/sw?m/ Show Spelled[swuhm] Show IPA
    –verb
    pp. of swim.

    Totally a word. Swim, swam, swum. Sing, sang, sung. Sink, sank, sunk. So there, asshole hillbilly dictionary.

  154. AAAAAAAAAUGH, it really pisses me off that moooog is banned from my work server (uh nevermind that I should be working) because that comment? Literally…made me snort. Which made the teenager that resides on the couch laugh at me, which is the first sound he has made since waking up at the crack of 11:30 and immediately turning on the WII. So thanks mooooog for letting me get a glimpse of your funneh again. And for letting me know the teenager can still communicate at some level.

    Scottsdale Girl recently posted Please register to view this blog….

  155. May I add my sincere contrafibularities to you on winning your coliary battle with the dictionary.

    mr farty recently posted Edward Cullen Eat Your Undead Heart Out.

  156. It’s the British! Gets me all the time. I leant the British version at school (see, “learnt”, not “learned”). And it pisses me off when somebody says it’s incorrect. Learn your mother tongue, mofos. Wait, did I just swear? Sorry. But you said “asshole”.

    Lena.FM recently posted The importance of being gay.

  157. I think you’re overlooking the sad fact that your sister clearly can’t swim. She’s making up grammar arguments to throw you off. Help her! Help her swim, for the love of God, until she’s swum a thousand rivers!

  158. Tumped is also a word. “My son just tumped over my purse.”

  159. WHO MAKES UP THESE RULES?
    I’m tired of them. I say we all make up our own rules and be done with it, just like scrabble at my house.
    I’ll start.
    It is a rule, that I can put commas, during every breath I take, while I’m writing.
    There. Next?

  160. I always thought it was swum. Not sure about this website but: http://www.writingenglish.com/cverbs/swim.htm

  161. asshole alert!!!!!!!!!! i looked up “bloggess” on dictionary.com with some interesting results. apparently this word doesn’t exist, and the word i am looking for is:
    blaggers –noun Caribbean . informal conversations in a public place, often deceitful.

    hmmm…..
    these people are subtly trying to undermine you. do not let them! v is for vendetta. i looked that up too, but i don’t trust the dictionary anymore. so i looked in the encyclopedia section, and here is what i found.

    vendetta -a continuing state of conflict between two groups within a society characterized by violence, usually killings and counterkillings. It exists in many nonliterate communities in which there is an absence of law or a breakdown of legal procedures and in which attempts to redress a grievance in a way that is acceptable to both parties have failed.

    the dictionary clearly thinks you are an illiterate liar. i guess you are going to have to kill the dictionary! let me know how i can help.

    heather recently posted snubbed by krasinski &amp clooney.

  162. A definition from the “Free Dictionary” seems a classic case of “You get what you pay for.”

  163. I have taught composition on the high school and college levels. I can guarantee that you used “swum” correctly. Sorry for not reading all the comments. Maybe somebody already covered this. “Swum” is the past participle of “swim”. It is used with an auxiliary verb like “has” or “have”. You used it correctly in your dialogue above. “I swim every day. I swam yesterday. I have swum every day for the past year.”

    You’re right about the Google dictionary example being an asshole. I think that text is from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. That passage is being spoken by an illiterate slave. It’s still fine English, but it’s nowhere near standard grammar. I love your blog. I’m going to follow you.
    I

    Fred Miller recently posted Fart Jokes.

  164. “We have flown the air like birds and swum the seas like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.”
    By Martin Luther King Jr.

    http://www.famousquotesabout.com/on/Swum

    You are not a hick.

    You are in very good company.

    Kettletop recently posted Notes From Wildwood 5-14 - 5-20.

  165. No Wayyyyy! The free dictionary is SOOOOO wrong for that…lmao!

    Roschelle recently posted The Truth About Cougar Sex - My Truth!.

  166. As long as you don’t say you “seen”something, like “I seen a snake in the yard”, I’m good! Swum is totally a word! Then again, technically speaking “seen” is a word too, it’s just that morons misuse it all the time!!

  167. I remember a rhyme from my school days….”A boy who swims may say he’s swum, but milk is skimmed and seldom skum.”

    slippy recently posted Items Posted.

  168. #32 Kim said “The regular past tense of “swim” is “swam” unless the verb is preceded by a helping verb. Then it’s “swum,” exactly as you said. ” My 13 year old son Ryan is a huge fan of you, so I read him this post out loud, and Kim’s comment about the helping verb.

    Then, he sung me a song his 7th grade SCIENCE teacher taught his class, because helping verbs, linking verbs and prepositions are not part of the ENGLISH curriculum. So, this wonderful teacher, Mrs. Cameron, taught the kids three songs, one for helping verbs, one for linking verbs, and one for prepositions. How cool is that?

    Anyway, since it’s HAVE you…the word is “swum”. If you were telling someone about swimming the English Channel when you were 20, you would say “I swam the English Channel”. Free Dictionary is, in fact, an asshole. I may have to set Mrs. Cameron loose on them.

    Elizabeth@Table for Five recently posted Watch This With Your Kids &8211 The Jensen Project.

  169. 178
    Miss Dandy

    @ cagey (kelli oliver george)

    You know, I think Kansas is the real asshole here.
    Or Arkansas.
    You decide.
    Does tha “Ar” in front of the Kansas act like the auxiliary verb “have” or “had” to change the whole pronunciation to Can-SAW??????
    So annoying.

  170. I thought it was swammed…what the heck dixshunarry did you look that up in? Wow that was a spelling, grammer lesson right there.

  171. I totally boggled the minds of my co-workers when I told them that “Shat” was the past-tense of “shit”…they had to look it up in the dictionary to prove me wrong …HA, Co-workers! I am right AGAIN!!

  172. drink, drank, drunk?
    sink, sank, sunk?
    stink, stank, stunk?

    I don’t know here I’m going with this. Where’s my wine?

  173. Oh, how I lol’ed! :) If “swum” isn’t a real word, we can all just mumble in unison- “[insert name of school you attended] learned me good”.

    Mally recently posted Plow Now Or Plow Later Chapter 5.

  174. 183
    EveEnsler'sTwat

    Come, Came, Cum.

    Makes sense to me.

  175. Let’s do ‘smite’ now. God was always smite-ing people (smiting?). What were they when he was done? I don’t think they were “smitten”. Do they consider them selves “smote”?? “Smited”?? HELP!

    Elisa recently posted The Harder I Try.

  176. I prefer drink, drank, drunk

  177. Who wrote that dictionary anyway. Probably someone who has never swummed in their life.

  178. BaH-Hahaha!

    Devan @ Accustomed Chaos recently posted Gluten &amp Casein Free Pancakes Mix.

  179. I have just read ALL these comments. Now I am all thunked out. Thank you. Going to bed.

  180. Yes, “swum” is correct. And tell Lisa that as an educated (i.e .edjumacated) hillbilly, you would now like to be known as a “hillwilliam.”

    You’re welcome.

  181. Great. Now I need to learn English all over again. You don’t give the immigrants a break, do you?

    subWOW recently posted Sundays in My City – Beach Edition.

  182. I’m sorry but that definition for swum just had me laughing crazily for 3 or 4 minutes! I think swum is a perfectly crommulent word. Thanks for making me laugh! :)

  183. Can we note that #7′s “kinder-gardener” makes this all the funnier? Absolutely wonderful comments and indeed Ms. Mirriam Webster says yes to swum.

  184. I just…feel compelled to ask.

    furiousball — “Swum – the act of ejaculating on a swing.” Is this ejaculating while swinging on a swing or ejaculating on actual swing? If you did both, would it be a double-swum?

  185. Make it a popularity contest. 512,000 results in google says it’s a word.

    Zoey @ Good Goog recently posted 47-365 Clingy.

  186. Well shit, between this and refudiate I haven’t a fucking clue what is correct any more. I am now afraid to speak at all.

    Except to tell you that my son’s first grade homework included a worksheet recently that required he circle the nouns in a list of sentences. One of the sentences was “She went swimming.” I seriously had to tell him to wait for his dad to come home, because clearly there was no noun in that sentence, because swimming was an action, so it had to be a verb, not a noun! Right?

    I’m going to fail second grade…

    Kristine (Mommy Needs Therapy) recently posted This is Not the Life Lesson You Think it is - A book club inspired post.

  187. 196
    Anonymous

    I just cracked up so hard I had a tremendous coughing fit.

  188. My sister’s gay BFF (read: future ex-husband) calls her his “Poodle Pot Pie” with a RIDICULOUSLY southern accent.
    So, we decided a tired poodle is a troodle.
    And a drunk poodle?
    Yep.
    A DROODLE.
    Why yes, we are FUCKING AWESOME.
    The end.

  189. Swum is totally a word! Spell check says so. Also, I’ve had this same fight and I totally won it which means you win too.

  190. …. Is that Huckleberry Finn?

  191. so totally getting to this like way late, because my aunt introduce me to your blog like a week ago. and i saw this and swum is a word its the present perfect tense of swim

  192. Forever using Squozen.
    Thank Lora for finally making me spit coffee onto my keyboard, which naturally is the sign its time to comment.

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