Dragged vs. Drug

This isn’t a real post.  It just won’t fit on twitter:

I’m doing final edits (fingers crossed) on my next book and I need your opinion. I know “dragged” is proper in this case, but “drug” is my natural dialect so “dragged” seems clunky to me.  But maybe “drug” makes everyone who isn’t me feel all stabby.  Is this a Southern thing, or is it just a me thing?  Or is it common enough that I can use it as long as I’m aware I’m using it incorrectly?

“He was later drug to his death by catfish.”


“He was later dragged to his death by catfish.”


PS.  Thanks!

331 thoughts on “Dragged vs. Drug

Read comments below or add one.

  1. Ok, so I picked one and two. Not b/c I would punch you in the neck. I’m more likely to spork my eyes out than hit anyone else.

  2. I think it depends entirely on the voice that is being conveyed. I mean, hell — Huckleberry Finn is a work of genius. But if the voice is meant to be authoritative, then it looks like a dumb mistake.

  3. Did the catfish give him cyanide pills? If so, then it was drug related.

    (You can’t see it, but I’m giving you the slow clap right now. ~ Jenny)

  4. I don’t know about Southern, but it’s definitely a Texas thing. As in, I had to be drugged kicking and screaming to my first Willie Nelson concert. Best concert ever. Truth.

  5. I had an English teacher who wouldn’t let me write about “the crick” – and insisted I spell it “creek”. Mrs. Watkins was a great teacher, but she was wrong to think language should always behave itself. You should stand up and proudly be drug. Or lay down to be drug – or however you do it down there.

    (I’m pretty sure this is common knowledge. A crick is anything too small to be a creek, right?. ~ Jenny)

  6. I’m more wondering whether the catfish dragged/drug him, or if his death was caused by the catfish…

  7. I’m more concerned as to whether he was dragged/drug by the catfish, or if his death was caused by the catfish…

    (Spoiler alert: Catfish are deadly if you’re drunk. ~ Jenny)

  8. Lady, don’t get bullied by the grammar snobs; you tell your story YOUR way.

  9. Ugh. I know it’s proper, but I hate the word dragged. Drug, ftw. Yep, probably a southern thing.

  10. The first looks like the catfish drugged him, like maybe with sleeping pills, but also that the sentence has a typo.

  11. It’s probably a southern thing. I seem to develop a stutter whenever I try to use drug/dragged. “Drug” is my inclination, but I’ve been made fun of too many times and I instantly try to correct it.

  12. because it should be dragged.. i keep reading as “He was later drugged to his death by catfish.” Which makes me believe the catfish slipped him a bad roofie.

  13. As an editor (of fiction) I’ll allow it in dialogue but not narrative. And even then, if the character’s educated, I’ll push the author to change it. I can see how “dragged” sounds wrong to you, so I voted for “yanked.” I’m always in favor of rewording in lieu of making the author uncomfortable and/or letting an obvious mistake go through. For lo, I am a fussbudget.

  14. I’m not secretly your editor. I just find some language use really, really bothers me. Drug, as referring to anything other than narcotics/medicine, really makes me antsy.

  15. If you’re using it in dialog you can get away with it. But the screamy people will come for you, and I like you too much not to warn you away from the screamy people why don’t really care about cultural context of dialogue or rainbows or kittens or other happy things either. I dragged this out a lot longer than I planned. I might be drugged.

  16. I am all for the ‘yanked’ and cannot believe a catfish would do anything else.

  17. Dragged because it took a second of wondering what drug it was the catfish had… was it heroin? Meth? And where exactly do catfish go to purchase their drugs?

    So go with dragged for the sake of my random brain.

  18. Say it however you want. Grammar Nazis can suck it. It’s your book! When I read it, it will be because I enjoy your writing and not to judge you on your grammar.

  19. Long-time reader. First-time commenter because, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY, PLEASE DO NOT USE “DRUG” IN PLACE OF “DRAGGED”!

  20. I actually think both are technically correct. I may be wrong, but as long as you don’t say “he was drugged” without there being actual drugs then I’m ok with it.

    Also catfish are clearly dangerous, I will have to stay away from them…

  21. If there’s a lot of similar dialect around it to give the usage context, then I guess “drug” is fine. However, assuming everything else was in standard English, it would make me a little twitchy to read it.

  22. I do this kind of thing all the time! You start to second guess your word, look it up to see the difference, and if it doesn’t make sense, find a different word. I call that writing at its finest 🙂

  23. Hey, have mercy, Jenny! Please don’t leave us in suspense over what the catfish actually did do. I’ll be up most of the night wondering myself – dragged, drug, drugged and exactly how. Yeah, that’s how I roll.

  24. Is this dialogue? Because if it is and the character would say drug, then drug it is. Also if the catfish had a hypodermic. We already know the catfish was a murderous wretch.

  25. I think it’s probably not OK to invoke Sweet Baby Jesus in the same line with threatening to throat-punch someone. I think he’d be more likely to your wine into water for a grammar infraction like drug/dragged. But he also seems to have run around in a dress and sandals a lot, so maybe the whole drag issue carries a different connotation?

  26. Rearrange the whole damn sentence. The catfish bit him in the back fender and he died of catfish amoebic dysentery.

    Now back to work, I can’t wait to read your next book!

  27. Until reading this I thought drug was the right way to say it and I’m not from Texas. I’m from Pittsburgh!
    That seems as bad as “hung” and “hanged”.

  28. Dialect is important in narrative! It gives a sense of the author/characters involved. The only trick is if you use dialect you kind of keep having to use it, can’t really go back and forth without giving your reader whiplash.

  29. Ok, I think I’ve figured it out and I’m fixin to explain:
    Drug in our dialect is the past tense of drag. So you can say he got drug to death attached to the end of the weedwhacker extension cord, but you cannot say he got drugged to death. I’m pretty sure it’s situational. You would probably get dragged to your death at Downton Abbey, rather than drug.
    Now let’s talk about hanged vs. hung in the punitive sense
    Have swimmed vs have swum
    And slinked vs slunk

    (I think we’re related. #TeamSlunk ~ Jenny)

  30. I went catfishin’ once, but something happened and I couldn’t get off the dock, matter of fact I am certain I was nearly “drug to death by the catfish”..I can barely remember the night. There was a really sketchy guy there and come to think of it maybe I was roofied. Yeah, that is probably what happened.

  31. BTW -“Fixin’ to” do something is ALWAYS appropriate. Maybe change your sentence to “The catfish was fixin’ to drag him to his death but he was drug instead.”

    (It’s sad that that sentence sounds perfectly appropriate to me. And I have a degree in writing. Y’all. ~ Jenny)

  32. I love making up words when I write. But ‘drug’ sounds peculiar to my ears. I do come from New Zealand though. Pronounced by some locals – nuy zeld. You could always use it in speech? Happy editing!

  33. Well, you could say ‘“He was later drugged to his death by catfish”, but I think that would have to involve an overdose of some sort.

  34. In the first situation it looks like the catfish slipped the man some meth and made him OD. I think dragged is a better word to use in writing,.

  35. I teach writing for a living, and given the already over the top red-necky awesomeness of the fact that somewhere, somehow, something or someone’s death was actually cause by a CATFISH, “drug,” is exactly the feel you should be going for.

  36. to be honest, when I saw you writing drug in the opener, I thought something else. ;D
    On another note, please use fixin’ to…teach these non-Texas folk how to talk proper*. 😉

    yes, I know it’s usually properly. Bless your heart, grammar nerds from other states. *G

  37. WTF? You can use any word you want and if they don’t like it, tell them to write their own damned books. And for the record, fixin’ to is also fine by me! Don’t let the grammar nazis get to you!

  38. For the love of God, if it’s a catfish, it’s dragged.
    Why wasn’t this a voting option?

    (Is there specific nomenclature for catfish? Because that was not covered in class. ~ Jenny)

  39. I won’t actually punch you in the throat, but please use dragged and not drug. I don’t have anything clever to say, I just wanted to say for sure I wouldn’t punch you, and didn’t even like voting that, but proper word use compelled my vote. Also I am so excited for your book you don’t even know.

  40. Crick vs creek is a dialect. Dragged vs drug just doesn’t sound like a dialect thing. It sounds like ignorance. Fixin is just awesome. I’m fixin to make chicken. Best sentence ever. My two cents.

  41. Also, SINCE it’s being perpetuated by an honest-to-God catfish, the CORRECT sentence would be (to the dismay of many):

    He was fixin to be dragged to death by a catfish.

  42. If he was smoking weed while fishing, I’d say he was drug by a catfish. Otherwise, I’d say dragged, because getting pulled into the water by a huge catfish is a reel drag.

  43. Did the catfish first administer a sedative to reduce its victims’ struggling before pulling the victim underwater? If so, it drugged then dragged the victim to it’s death. Thank goodness, the victim wasn’t a fire breathing lizard or you’d have a drowned drugged dragged dragon! (Try saying that three times fast.)

  44. Just use drug, dammit! Please do not mistake this for an encouragement to use drugs. Though, WTF, if you want to use drugs that’s none of my business. Unless, of course, it turns out that the drugs drug you to your death. I would miss you terribly.

  45. Drug for drag is not just a southern “thing”, I have heard it used many places.
    I am looking forward to your book whatever you decide. There are some scary catfish out there.

  46. I voted for multiple answers mostly because I could, but also there were some great choices there. I’d have to go with dragged unless the catfish drugged him.

  47. So, being the total nerd that I am, I looked up “Definition of the word drug” on the internet. At the following site http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/drug, you will find that the 3rd definition (you have to scroll down past the ads, etc.) says
    “3 drug
    Definition of DRUG
    dialect past of drag”

    So there you have it Jenny. It is in Webster’s Dictionary, so you are correct.
    (Please keep this reference handy for all the grammar Nazi’s (like me) who will attempt to correct you.)

  48. Can’t you just change the word order? “Later a catfish dragged him to death”

    Or does that only sound fine cause I’m from Texad?

  49. Use “drugg” with two “g”s so we know you mean a physical action and not that the catfish like kidnapped him and then pumped him full of heroin. Like catfish are wont to do.

  50. Cause Drug sounds like pharmaceuticals and dragged sounds like the fish made him dress up in glitter and push-up bras.

  51. Ifin you used fixin’ to that splains the drug. But the grammar biatch in me wants dragged. But if you include this bit in the book then it splains it all off. Best wishes in figuring it out

  52. Sweet baby Jesus I can’t wait for your new book! And being a southerner, drug sounds normal, but it also makes me think of the comment about the cyanide pills.

  53. I get crucified for “y’all” on a routine basis. You can’t do anything about the yanks. They can’t help but be wrong. Just own it.

  54. If you use drug and people read that line quickly, they will think the catfish went all Lucretia Borgia on him. So, you know, if you want to have that effect…

  55. I’m just picturing these huge-ass catfish and expect to see Larry the Cable Guy wrestling one next season.

  56. I guess it just be a Southern thing, because I’ve never heard of “drug” being used as the past tense of drag, so that sentence was confusing to me. But then I’m Canadian and am not very familiar with catfish and their access to narcotics (or homicidal tendencies).

  57. use the dragged sentence. In the other sentence I am wondering what kind of drugs the catfish gave him.

  58. I think you’ll be ok using “he was drug to his death by catfish” if you follow it up with the phrase “besides, he needed killin’ “, which I understand to be a legit reason to kill someone in Texas (please note that “legit” does NOT always equal “legal”)

  59. This? THIS is what’s holding up the next book??

    (Well, this and number of words I may have made up. ~ Jenny)

  60. “Dragged” is grammatically correct. “Drug” is colloquial dialect. It’s not just specific to the South or Texas. I’ve heard people with traces of rural speech (or raised by those from rural areas) use “drug” in that way. But we read you because of your specific blend of youness. If that is how you would say that sentence than you should write it that way. We love the things that come out of your mouth. Here is a link to Grammar Girls take on the subject: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/dragged-versus-drug

  61. Okay, one, it needs to be dragged. And two, I am looking forward to your book even more after that example!!

  62. The problem with “drug” or “drugged” is that it causes confusion for the reader. Did the catfish drug the victim (injection? Force a pill down the throat?) Or, was it a really large catfish that dragged him/her/ze? Why create that extra moment of figuring out what’s going on? It’s not a grammar Nazi issue (“me and him fished for catfish” causes no pause although it’s not grammatical), but a smooth reading issue.

  63. I’m from Texas and I say “dragged” so don’t be drugging the south under the bus when it comes to correct grammar.

  64. I would like to take a brief second to say congratu-fucking-lations for having completed your second book (minus some drug-out editing issues).

  65. So for rizzle.. Why cant drugged be past tense of dragging? Like, “He done drugged that girl across the beach and left her ass with the hobo that looks like the Abercrombie CEO.” So then using drug would be like easy-peasy and no one would question it. Like, drug would be the thug way of saying drugged instead of the other way around. “I drug they asses to tha po-leese cuz they beez triflin’.” or something. Because wine.

  66. Also, you probably have to change the sentence entirely because now we’ve used drug so much it’s not even registering as a word I comprehend anymore.

  67. The English teacher in me says dragged, all the way. But I have to concur that if he was fixin’ to, he got drug.

  68. I think drug sounds better even if it is technically not correct. Dragged feels like nails on a chalkboard to my always-on-editor brain.

  69. Sometimes I wish your comments section came with a ninja-high-kick-five button. The responses are just as entertaining as the post. As for the word dragged, I am not a fan. Much ike the words placenta or moist, it just gets under my skin.

  70. I definitely clicked through to this post thinking that it was some strange “would you rather” game. I had to read the catfish sentence 3 times to figure out who was roofied before realizing what you meant. I’m ok with drug, like in the phrase “I can’t believe you drug me into this mess.” I vote dragged in this particular case, though. I’m curious how the rest of the story goes!

  71. I’m from New Hampshire and I thought you were on a crack when you first asked the question. If it’s dialogue it’s okay to sound like a cracker (I live in Florida now) but otherwise I’d use dragged.

  72. Ummmm…you probably say “snuck” instead of sneaked, too, don’t you? Both snuck and “drug” used for dragged are like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Then again, I grew up saying “boughten” so who am I to complain?

  73. I was going to beg you not to use drug, because it makes grammar Nazi bells go off in my head. But, then I remembered I just recently learned “learnt” is grammatically correct & it makes the same damn alarm bells go off. So, now I want you to use drug, just so I can buy your new book, find it in there, and remember all the awesome comments in this post.

  74. Not a Southern thing, but definitely a Southern thang. As in “She drug his sorry ass to church.” (A phrase I’ve heard before here in Arkansas.) I do admit, though, the words “drug,” “catfish” and “death” whips up a vision of a really wild disco party in the 1970s. Sometimes bad words are just more fun.

  75. I want to read anything and everything that you write – in YOUR voice. YOU’RE the genius-hero here, so you get to set your own grammar rules.Consider it to be among your superpowers (along with helping me find the fun, wacky side to anxiety disorders). Besides, I’m from Canada and am famed for being pedantic and knowing zero slang, and even I understood you, so you’re fine.

  76. Drug seems to have greater gravity, even if improper. Maybe because of the double entendre. I can be dragged into any number of things, but I have to be drug into truly bad situations, either by my ear or with illicit substances…

  77. I voted, but I also wanted to mention here in the comments that dragged would make me feel better but I wouldn’t stab you if you used drug. Just fyi. No stabbings from me either way.

  78. I think you just run the risk of major cognitive dissonance when someone reads the sentence. Though I don’t know if you’d really mind if your reader had to stop and think “wait, what?”, since I’m betting that would happen with this story even if you used the word “dragged”.

  79. He was later stabbed to death by the fucking catfish knife fins that have that fucking poison on them, so that it hurts ever worse an hour after you get fucking stabbed, unless, we suppose, your are dead. Stupid fucking catfish stabbing murderers. They should be drug dragged.

    (My dad got stabbed in the stomach by a fish once. He bled like crazy. ~ Jenny)

  80. I’m probably the guy that’s going to yell at you for using “drug” but I voted you can use it as dialect. Except that you don’t usually write in the vernacular in your book the way you do in your blog, so I would be disappointed to see you use drug – unless it were in a dialectical context. And your instincts for dragged instead of yanked/hauled is spot on. Much funnier and more alliterative.

  81. I say go ahead and use drug. It’s the way you talk. We want to read what you have to say, not how well you imitate some arbitrary standard.

    You just keep on being you. You’re what we come back for.

  82. It depends on the participle and tense and modifying dangler you’re using. ‘He drug the body slowly through the muck’ is correct. If past tense verbage without an active pronoun is being used, then ‘the body was dragged slowly through the muck’ would be the only proper way to go. I looked it up in my copy of The Chicago Manual of Style. Their section on dragging bodies around is really quite informative.

  83. I say q-pon. My ex says coo-pon. You notice I said “ex”? I always say “ex” correctly because being married to someone who constantly corrected me was a real drag. Drug? Dragged? Write like you speak, it’s that charm that enchanted all of us. : )

  84. I had to google it and the first 3 results were explaining it is “dragged” and the fourth was a link to this post already. However, there is correct and there is “correct”. If “literally” now officially means “figuratively” then I say you can use whatever word however you want. It is your book and you can always tell your editor that you are wanting to convey how you actually are and not what some language wants you to be.

  85. Um, is this happening on land? If not, those damn catfish drown him! (And you know that is proper Texas grammer.)

  86. I’d totally be okay with Fixin’ to. California girl raised by way of the Carolinas

  87. If your editor is holding up your book for made up words, he/she does not know you at all and should probably come read the comments on this post before revising his/her comments on your draft.

  88. I’m pure Yankee myself, and I’d never use “drug”, but it reads okay to me when you do it. At least in that sentence; no promises in general.

  89. I am just pleased the catfish has the upper fin in this battle. I was fixin’ to say it is a Southern thing to use the word “Drug” as in to tote to hell in a hand basket but then my Okie uncle’s voice said “No hon, that fish done carried him off!” so there’s that… Love, the So Cal daughter of Okies.

  90. Hell’s Bells, English is a living language. Tweeting, cosplay, selfie. Seriously, get over it. Damn it, it’s art, not a school paper on the New Deal. Tell your inner English Teacher to take a 2000mg Chill Pill. Sheesh.

    Jenny, write what feels right. Loved your last book.

    BTW, was this guy noodling? Because I had no clue that even existed, until I saw it in a movie. Letting one of those huge catfish swallow my arm would make me pee my pants…

  91. “Look what the cat(fish) drug in.”

    “They were dragged forward, kicking and screaming, into the twenty-first century.”

    Both are examples of appropriate and correct usage.

  92. It’s a southern thang…What are you writing, a catfish zombie apocalypse thriller?

  93. Honestly I’d prefer “fixin’ to” than that use of “drug”, but if you’re talking about death by catfish noodling (and I don’t know what else you could be) than I vote for “yanked”, it just feels right for the occasion.

  94. You better make a choice on this one. Otherwise, rumors may start.I think that’s what happened with Led Zepplin and the whole mudshark thing…

  95. My Bachelor’s in English Lit. is apparently not as strong an influence as is my Kentucky upbringing, because I too prefer “drug.” I vote that you go with whatever choice gets your book into my hands most quickly, please.

  96. Hmm well I had to read it three times to work out what you wee on about, I thought the fish was a dealer and had administered an overdose. Perhaps use Drug and then have an asterix and food note with this post to explain

  97. Ehk. There will be entire countries of people who have no freaking clue what you mean if you use “drug” this way. It would be a tragedy to deny so many your wit and wisdom. Could you live with a footnote to “translate”?

  98. I think you should use drug, but be prepared for yelling. But remember, unless we are standing next to you when we’re reading it, YOU CAN’T HEAR US. OK, maybe if we’re in your front yard. I’m betting most of us are not.

  99. THat Aint good ‘n proper English if you, like, go and use drug in that way. Sheash!…

  100. He looks like something the cat drug in.

    Looks like the catfish drug him to his death.

    Works for me and I speak the Queen’s English.

  101. Can the catfish throat punch him instead? Or, how about mauling him? I could totally see a catfish mauling someone. Call it artistic license.

  102. I live in Alaska. I’ve always said drug. It was only a few years ago in graduate school on the East Coast that someone informed me that the proper word was dragged.

  103. (But in Alaska, we don’t take well to people bossing us around about words. Or anything else.)

  104. Unless you’re planning on writing a separate version of the book for Brits and other non- US English speakers, I’d use dragged. I didn’t even know ‘drug’ existed in that context, so would have been baffled by its use.

  105. Ahoy and howdy. Drug or drugged are equally fine for a murderous catfish. As long as the homicidal shenanigans took place in an appropriate setting. Just for good measure, you might mention how the victim’s Dr. Pepper got ‘tumped over’ during the attack. Thus lending credence to the Southern vernacular. Bless your heart, what a massive shitstorm over such a piddly grammar issue. Lawhzedays ! I’d best sashay onto the veranda fore I have a case of the vapors.

  106. Facts are that no matter what you use, SOMEONE is going to bitch. Use what you are comfy with & get earplugs.
    And remember that the person bitching is likely NOT a famous published author!

    (See there, I just started a sentence w/ “And”. Total faux pas. I thought I’d step out ahead so that you wouldn’t feel lonely.)

  107. The only reason I went with the first one was because I love it when people say Sweet Baby Jesus. Just saying it sounds like i feel at the end of a long hard day and I just got off work. That means that my real answer is ‘drug’

  108. I’m not a pedant with language, at all (I would have no problem at all with “Fixin’ to…” – probably because it is so obviously a dialect thing/colloquialism) but the ‘drug instead of dragged’ thing is the one misuse that is ALWAYS guaranteed to make me stabby. It’s bad enough in fanfic (it drives me nuts to see it & is probably the only time I’ll shout at the screen “It’s dragged, damn it, not drug…DRAGGED”) but if I saw it in a paid for book (and it wasn’t part of a dialogue between people who clearly would misuse it) it would throw me right out of the book & I’d think the editor had fallen asleep on the job. I’d be all “Why, Jenny? Whyyyy?!? This motherfucking book is ruined!”

    So that’s why I picked the throat punch option (although I probably wouldn’t do that, I’d be looking for Knives instead).

    However, if it bothers you to have to go against what your instinct says, then I would suggest using a different word altogether that has no such conflict.

  109. all I’m saying is if the sentence actually read “he was drugged to his death by a catfish” then it would make a whole lot more sense. Catfish are well known assassins who use drugs as their weapon of choice.

  110. You know what? Go for it. After all who am I or anyone else to tell you what’s right? I mean here in Australia so many people say youse (as in the plural of you) that they actually added it to the dictionary!!!

  111. Sure, correct grammar in the written text is entirely appropriate, but use your dialect in the audio version. I pray nightly to my dear and fluffy lord there will be an audio version, because hearing you read the stories in “Let’s Pretend…” is the BEST!

  112. Use it if you like, just be prepared for ‘helpful’ letters pointing out your editor ‘missed a bit’ ;p

  113. I’m not bothered by the grammar, but as a Northeasterner who just never hears “drug” that way, I’m with the people who found it confusing; it looks like a typo for “He was later drugged to his death…” to me, too. Also agree that it would be fine in the audio version.

  114. Use drug but provide context so we know we’re talking about dragging- he got drug across the lawn until he died…

  115. I think it depends on whether it’s written as narrative or dialogue. If it’s dialogue, and that’s how your character speaks, then it’s fine. If it’s the narrative, there isn’t much wiggle room for improper spelling or grammar, unless it’s written in the first person and that’s how the narrator would speak. Then again, English is a stupid, overly complicated language, so fuck it – it’s your book; write it however you want to. I’m sure you can convince your editor that there’s some kind of artistic reason for your word choice. 😉

  116. This post has now got me questioning my sanity (again) because it reminded me that I know for sure that I do something similar in my own dialect but I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT WORD IT IS.

  117. I am familiar with this practice having dated “Bob the Drunk” a native son of Sandy Hook, KY, for several years of my youth. The stories with which I was regaled involved a lot of tenacious effort on both the parts of the fish and the “fisherman.” These was no time for dragging OR drugging as the trip into the water was typically a rapid turn off events which sparked a chain reaction of terror fueled refocusing of priorities. I’d say that in context ‘yanked’ is the more appropriate verb, as it conveys an element of surprise.

  118. I like dragged, but only because using the word drug makes me also think of actual drugs, if only for a moment. It’s a little too distracting and takes away from your (really disturbing) point.

  119. Honey, it’s your book, use what you want. Think of the audio book. You did a fabulous job on that and you will use drug because that is the natural flow of your dialect. I only notice bad grammar when the writing is bad. Slipping in a colloquial term into good writing will largely go unnoticed.

  120. This sentence better be in the book and not just be an example. If it is, you need to make up a story with it because I am going to be obsessed with this catfish and who/what got dragged/drugged!

  121. Was he ( or the catfish) wearing a wig and a dress? If yes, then “dragged”.

    FWIW, a Connecticut yankee on the local news just advised us to use our DEE-frost. So, you know, you’re good, either way.

  122. @Dylan Brody, “Dragified” is when you get made over into a drag queen.

    And I would totally read a catfish zombie apocalypse thriller. Specially if the catfish zombies got tumped over and drug back to hell at the end.

  123. To be honest, I’m from Georgia and I have literally never heard “drug” being used that way. I honestly, swear-to-God though you meant the catfish had, like, slipped him a roofie or something (as in, gave him drugs) until I re-read the rest of your post.

  124. I’m on the dragged side of this, but I use “gonna” and “’cause” all the damn time, so I don’t really have room to talk. I’m a little concerned that catfish could drag anyone with bottom-feeder mouths though.

  125. “darkalter2000 | February 8, 2015 at 9:33 pm
    Don’t use drug that way. Please.
    (Are you my editor using a pseudonym? Because you’ve already voted in your notes. ~ Jenny)”

    darkalter2000 — I apologize in advance for this, but I totally misread your name there as Dark Altar 2000 and now and nearly choked on my tea giggling. That exchange right there totally needs to become a book in its own right. Please please someone write a book about a charming Southern author whose editor is a Satanist with a flair for grammar. I would read that book SO HARD.

  126. I think if catfish were involved than the proper word is “drug”. I think the catfish would agree. I always assumed they have a Southern accent, even when my daughter drug one out of a lake in Ontario, Canada.

  127. I’m fixin to tell you something. There are catfish that lie at the bottom of the Kentucky Lake as if they’ve been drugged. Sonsabitches are so huge – divers that have seen them won’t be dragged back. Sonsabitches so huge – they could drag a barge down. Sonsabitches are so huge – I feel like a need a drug after this.
    Write how you want, we get it it. We love you.

  128. “Drug” sounds like you’re actually accomplishing something.
    “Dragged” seems so . . . British.

  129. Go with dialect. Linguistics tell us that language is ever changing. Just be ready with a smile and a bless your heart when people howl in outrage.
    Also, it took me a few minutes to puzzle out whether the catfish was some sort of druggie or hit man or just a “granddaddy” sized one. I need to know the rest of the story!

  130. I say if you’re fixin’ to publish another book, you can write it any dang way you please. But either way, I now want to know if the catfish were driving a monster truck with flames on the sides. They could drug OR drag some serious shit in one of those.

  131. Go ahead and use drug if you want, and here’s why:

    English has strong verbs and weak verbs. Weak verbs are poor pathetic things that need suffixes to change their tense. Strong verbs change tense by changing their vowel. Many verbs in English have gone from strong to weak over time, but a few, mysteriously, go the other direction. Like “swim,” which is in the process of becoming strong which is why it has two past tenses: “swam” and “swum.” Wouldn’t you rather use a mysterious changing verb than a poor weak one?

    Besides which, English is always growing and changing as a language–to argue that any grammar teacher or dictionary should define (pun intended) English is like taking a picture of your child at age 4 and then trying to make her look like the picture every day for the rest of her life (though on a slightly different time scale). So use “drug.” The linguists are on your side.

  132. Dragged. I’m agnostic as to sneaked vs. snuck. BTW, shout out. I work for the company and I may end up being your production editor. Looking forward to it!

  133. If the whole book is written in upper-middle-class standard American English then “drug” would be the sort of thing that would stop me in the middle of the line (and thus be a ding in any review I would write on the book). Only use “drug” in this sense in the narration if the whole book is in some kind of Southern vernacular English.

  134. I would have just read the sentence for its context and skipped the dragged/drug disparity. Until it was pointed out to me. Now I have to choose a side. And that would be “dragged”.

  135. Drug sound fine in your example sentence. I actually tell people, “i need this drug to this spot,” all the time. I know dragged would be better, but I don’t care. Use drug, and while you are at it, it is YOUR BOOK, you write it however you like. 😉

  136. There’s no option on there to vote, “you’re completely right, dragged feels clunky.”
    Seriously though I need to google this because I would use drug too. That sounds right to me.

  137. DOWN WITH LINGUISTIC PRESCRIPTIVISM!! Here’s the thing, if that is the word that you would use in real life telling the story then THAT is the word you should use in your writing. Because it’s how you talk, and your writing should reflect you, not your prescriptivist editor. I’m sure your editor is incredibly nice, but your editor is wrong :p. Thus speaks someone who is a linguistics (and not an English) major.

  138. You are already swamped with comments, but I just thought I’d throw my two cents in. The answer depends on the voice you use throughout the rest of the book. Are you using standard English? If so, “drug” may be jarring to many readers and take them out of the narrative. But if you’re using terms and phrases common in spoken English in Texas throughout the book, “drug” would fit right in.

  139. Does the word fall in line with the voice you’re using in the rest of the book? If so, use it, and thumb your nose at your editor. If not, then probably not, as it’ll be jarring to the reader for you to depart from that voice.

    Or, you could do a footnote at the bottom of the page and mention the whole dragged/drug conversation. Call it “DrugGate.” Or would that be “DraggedGate?” (Hmm. The first sounds like some sort of pharmaceutical kerfuffle, the second like you were refused entry to someone’s yard and took revenge by chaining their gate to your back bumper and driving off with it clattering along the road behind you.)

  140. Being German, I can’t imagine how using “drug” instead of “dragged” might affect people who always use your language correctly.
    If someone uses my language incorrectly, it causes me much pain and great suffering. 😉

    That being said: It is you book and you tell it in your own words.
    If “drug” feels more natural to you than “dragged”, then by all means use “drug”.
    I’m sure your editor is doing a good job, but he shouldn’t make you edit out your own way of talking. That’s just plain wrong.

  141. How does a catfish drag anything except a fishing lure?? He/she has no hands, arms or other appendage in which to drag an object! Now I’m just curiously drugged into this whole catfish thing. And yes, I’m from the south!

  142. Hey now. Fixin’ to is 100% acceptable as Texan dialect too. Don’t listen to them there Yankees. They’ve drug our colorful language down for too long.

  143. I think “dragged” works better, actually. It resonates with the word “catfish” because of the vowel sounds when read aloud. Something a poet would be able to describe better than I can.

  144. “dragged.” Please please PLEASE “dragged.” “Drug” as a verb messes with the word music something fierce. twiddles pinky in ear

  145. I would understand what you mean if you use drug, and I understand why dragged sounds unnatural. But I’m also Southern and have studied linguistics a bit and actually appreciate different dialects…so basically the grammar/proper English hate me so you may not want to take my advice. So I chose the yelled at option.

  146. Honestly, since I think February should be skipped entirely because it’s too cold and too dark and too gloomy and too triggery, you just use whatever freakin’ words you want so I can selfishly get my hands on your book sooner and escape February.

  147. My first impression was that the catfish had a hefty syringe of some
    illicit drug, to be used to drug him to death. I’m all for dragged. English
    is a fluid language. Pass the wine.

  148. I said you could use it… but that’s mostly because in my eyes, catfish are incapable of either since they don’t have hands. But maybe that’s just me. (I have hands, I swear.)

  149. Someone else has probably suggested the proper use of “drugged,” as in the past tense of “drug.” Love you for the laughter, as always!

  150. Okay, I voted for number one because, well, I’m a (fallible) grammar snob, and self-help group after self- help group has only worsened the annoying problem (my kids now stutter), but that said, who on earth would want to hear Clapton sing: Lie down Sally…except perhaps Sally, who surely has zero interest in being laid down by anyone other than Eric. Don’t even get me started on Dylan, who surely wasn’t requesting that his lady lie to him before she had even lay lady lain across his big brass bed. Yeesh!

  151. Use drug, and have a footnote directing readers to this post … problem solved! If you can get a California girl saying y’all correctly, then there is no reason you can’t get drug down by a Catfish.

  152. I had a funny comment to share but then I got distracted reading all the other funny comments on my way down to the bottom of the page to type in this box.

    Now my head hurts and I need a nap.

  153. I’d go with “He was later scooted about by a catfish until he expired.”

  154. According to my degree in linguistics, I should say go with drug because it’s dialectal and to denounce that as ungrammatical would be prescriptivist and wrong.
    According to my inner grammar Nazi, my linguistics degree deserves to get dragged out into the parking lot and executed for its drug use.

  155. You do whatever you want. It’s your damn book and I’m sure I’ll laugh my ass off just like I did with your first one. We are sort of grammar nazis in our family, but there is something to be said for local dialect. Perfect example – my now 35 year old daughter came home from second grade and said “You will NEVER believe this! Mrs. X calls possums Opossums!!!!” Much emphasis on the OOOOO!” I should have removed her from that place of illiteracy immediately 😜

  156. I’ve never heard (or read) it used that way in my life. I think it would be really confusing for all sorts of readers, most prominently non-US ones. And after all, you’re not writing in dialect, or at least not in such a pronounced one. It would make sense if you were, though.

  157. Ugh. You’re gonna have your editor saying things like “Why are you making the action so passive!” or something along those lines. “Was dragged” should be more active, like “An unreasonably ornery catfish later dragged him to his death.” You know I’m right.

  158. Sorta’ like the distinction between “hung” and “hanged”. You can say a picture was hung, or a Christmas stocking was hung, but a person must be “hanged”. Although maybe that’s because if you say a man was hung, it means something else. I guess I’d go with “dragged”. It sounds a little less odd if you say “The catfish dragged him in, and he drowned (or is it drownded?)

  159. Stephen Fry has some very interesting things to say on language. Personally I grew up with drug swum and other creative language. It certainly does upset people who need to hit you over the head with their education. Ignorant is not the opposite of smart.

  160. Was he drug in the crick?

    This post and all the comments are giving me flashbacks to my Kansas childhood. The teachers at my elementary school had the hardest time convincing the kids that the school’s name was not spelled WaRshington School, since that is how everyone said it.

  161. As long as y’all realize that (1) working with people in our Kentucky office for 15 years and (2) the combination of your blog and crazyauntpurl’s totally changed my perspective on language — do as you’re fixin’ to do.
    Because now this New Yorker says “y’all” and can’t stop. I like it better than “youse guys” that’s for sure!

  162. I’m allergic to “Fixin’ to” do something. It makes me wanna take a drug. Then I feel drugged.

    Awwww hell, now I don’t know which is right and which is not.

  163. If you don’t get a freaking “LIKE” button on here where the rest of us can like the replies, I shall have to drag my unhappiness through the streets until my mascara runs, my wig falls off and I break my pumps…

  164. My father, when asked how he got the scar on his cheek, used to say ” I was milking a catfish and a steamboat ran over me.” He never said whether he (or the fish) was dragged. Or drugged.

  165. My first thought is “why did the catfish make him overdose anyway?”

    Better go with “dragged” or you’ll break my brain more.

  166. Use dragged in the book to make your editor happy and say drug when you’re reading for the audiobook!

  167. I use “drug” and I also use “fixin’ to”. I didn’t like any of the choices for votes, so I chose “I never use words improperly” because of the irony. I do think both are a Texas thing!

  168. Just the mere idea of using “drug” instead of “dragged” makes my shoulders go up to my ears and my head go to the side in a mini icky-dance sort of gesture. It’s like the people who say “I seen that” instead of “I saw that” or “She learned him good” instead of “she taught him well” – or, the one that gets used a LOT around here, (here being southern Ohio just north west of Kentucky…which probably explains things…) which is leaving out the words “to be” – as in “That needs washed” or “my house needs cleaned.” shudder

  169. Language is always geographically dependent, but for those of us who never use or hear “drug” in that context, it looks weird and wrong and narcotics-related. It’s your decision, but (unless your whole editorial voice is casual and/or southern-sounding in this book, which would give us a heads-up) many of us will immediately think it’s a typo and that you’re talking about an overdose, because “drug” has a specific meaning in our heads. If you hadn’t explained it, I would’ve needed to do a bunch of mental gymnastics to figure out what you meant. Which is fine, but I’m gonna need a leotard, and it better have rainbows on it.

  170. “by catfish” implies more than one fish was involved. Was he drag racing with them? If so, it was a completely predictable end result. In any event, doesn’t it depend on where it (the dragging/drugging) happened? If he, the catfish and you were all in Texas at the time, then “drug” is the appropriate choice. Better footnote it though as your worldwide audience may get lost. It will be interesting to see how “drug” will translate into German, Russian, Chinese and the many other languages your book will be translated into.

  171. If a crick is too small to be a creek, then what do I have in my neck – is it a crick or a crank?

  172. FWIW, I’m from the South and it didn’t occur to me that “drug” would be a problem. I’m not a redneck and I’m the sort of person who is careful with my words, but sheesh dialect is legit. I’ll bet half your readers won’t even notice. The half that do will just think that you’re messing with them. Do what you want.

  173. Assuming the universal classification of catfishes, that of the “how many Volkswagons was it as big as”, I’d say any catfish over 1.5 VWs is definitely a beast that drug somethin around. Anything under a half VW-sized catfish should be thrown back in the crick.

  174. I am torn between “It’s your story, your voice, and dialects are valid language modifiers and should be respected” and “GOOD GOD woman, it’s dragged!”

  175. Drug was used correctly in context, however you misspelled “Fixin’ ta”

  176. Are you still reading these? I want to know what kind of drug the catfish used? Arsenic. Frankly I know it’s natural but….

    Also WRT colloquialisms: I have a friend from Massachusetts who argued with an elementary school teacher who insisted there is no ‘r’ in ‘idear’! No lie!

  177. From what I can recall from high school English, & from some other courses that had English or communications as modules, in the vernacular you can say pretty much whatever you want.
    In print the norm is to use “proper” English, however in prose, poetry, fictional, or even biographical (especially autobiographical) works, there is an element of “poetic license” to express one’s own, or whoever one is quotings voice.
    So in short, it’s your book, it’s you writing in your voice albeit in print, so however you talk, if you want to be true to how you are in real life, then write how you speak.

    That said, around the home my wife & I have our own vernacular, & drug in your use may have been used a few times.

    We also refer to past tense of collision as collud, along with a number of other homespun terms.

    Incidentally the only way I can stomach the term “inspirational” is when I recall it was one of the lyrics in the Muppet Show theme, I much prefer inspiring, but usually when someone is referred to as inspirational it tends to be somewhat patronising; like how some say that disabled people are “inspirational” because they get out of the house & go to work, & manage to get around living their lives in a wheelchair, guide dog, or with other impairments.

    My wife gets about in a wheelchair, works full time, & has a particularly complicated & responsible job – I don’t find her inspiring because she goes to work, or gets about in a wheelchair, I find her inspiring because she does a job most people would not be able to do, & one that would drive me literally insane, as the toll on my mental health would be too great to bear.

    Use whatever words you want, just make sure you’re using your true inner voice, & not letting editors or proof readers water down your magnificent quirkiness!

  178. The incorrect use of the word “drug” here would be if it were used in the context of a medical substance, since it is obvious that this context calls for the past pluperfect subjunctive contractual indicative Texausal case of the word “drag”. Which I’m fixin’ to tell ya is “drug”.

  179. me: “Wait, what’s the rest of the story? she can’t leave us on the hook like that”
    daughter “On the hook?!”
    I promise, I didn’t mean it.

    Death by catfish is already Texas/hillbilly enough that I think drug fits. And if that other poster found it in Webster’s, go for it.
    But that’s me, whose undergrad degree was in English and who still giggles immaturely at the thought of little old ladies buying “quaint” things in antique shops.

  180. To everyone wanting to use “yanked”- instead of dragged or drug- please note- yanked means to pull or remove abruptly and vigorously, while dragged meansto draw with force, effort, or difficulty; pull heavily or slowly along; haul; trail. If a catfish was dragging someone to their death, wouldn’t it be a slow process? I mean, they don’t have hands for pulling, so they have to improvise, and I imagine that would take some time.

  181. Late to the game here, but I’d prefer “dragged” in the printed book and “drug” in the audiobook. I’m waaaay more forgiving for dialect in spoken word than written word.

  182. All I ask, essentially, is for consistency. Especially where compound sentences are concerned. Either use a comma throughout the entire piece/article/book/opus, or don’t. My brother laughs when he borrows my books and sees where I’ve corrected the first few chapters, and after book has a hold on me, I stop correcting. (I’m sure that was a run on compound incorrect sentence. I should have run this by Mrs. Hazelwood – our tenth grade English teacher – first. Forgive my mistakes, as I’m sure there are many. OK. I’ll shut up(,) now.) Good luck with the editing; I’m sure it’s almost painful at times!

  183. Oh, and I meant to mention Joel Chandler Harris. You can be write like he did. His writing in dialect was AWE-SOME.

  184. Clearly I’m also from Texas bc “drug” is the one that sounds correct to me….

  185. Jenny Jenny Jenny. It’s YOUR fuckin’ story. YOUR fuckin’ book. Write it the way ya’d tell it. And if you’re feelin’ apologetic after typing in the period at the end of the sentence, just add something like “Hey, you grammar-nazis, don’t get bent, I’m the one telling this story” in parens.

    Talk about irony … in the midst of typing this out—I just told my husband about how I got “drug outside” earlier today. (By our 17 year old cancer-patient kitty. It’s 30 freakin’ dregrees out, and all he wants is to go outside! ‘Lil bastard.)

  186. Wait – you mean “Well, look what the cat drug in” is NOT proper English?!?

  187. Is your editor Nancy Reagan? If not, then say yes to drug.

    Also, can we all have pins that read: “Just say YES to drug”?

  188. From the dictionary:
    verb, Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. (Nonstandard.)
    a simple past tense and past participle of drag

    So yeah, I’m thinkin’ that anyone that has a problem with drug instead of dragged is too uptight and ain’t never hooked inta a good sized catfish.

  189. If I were hanging with you and Anne Wheaton, I would have drug all my chewn items in a big ole pile, long ago. Being myself, I’d probably have wine and then set them on fire… but that’s a whole other story.

  190. Here’s your justification :

    “Drug” is Dialect
    But it turns out that treating “drag” as an irregular verb and using “drug” as the past tense is common in some parts of America. Linguists call it dialect, which essentially means it’s a language quirk shared by a group of people. Dialect can be shared by any group of people; for example, quirks can be shared by people who live in the same region, were educated by the same system, or inhabit the same social class.

    Using “drug” as the past tense of “drag” is a dialect common to people who live in the southern United States, but linguists have noted that it is used frequently in states as far west as Nebraska. Strangely, they don’t say anything about it being used widely in the West, where I’ve lived my whole life, so I can’t explain why I was confused.

    You live in a Southern state… it’s dialect – your dialect. Tell your editor to suck it. Suck it hard.

  191. OK, if you’re Southern, then you should know that when it comes to catfish, there is neither dragging nor drugging–only dredging. I’m fixin’ to dredge the catfish & fry it up for supper. Come on now.

  192. I’m a relatively new follower of yours and mostly appreciate you for your true southern representation of us folks in this part of the world. If you don’t use “drug,” I’ll serious rethink my new addiction to your southern antics.
    Just sayin’.

  193. Sweet baby Jesus! Publish the damn book already! Catfish. Drugs. Whatever! Free the pages!!

  194. Dragged. As in, you dragged your ass back to the computer to finish the book for us.

  195. It’s a midwestern thing. I say drug here in South Dakota, too, a few thousand miles away from you, and more or less straight north. Your editor will probably give you hell though…..

  196. Normally, I’d say go ahead and use “drug” because it’s the correct Texas dialect. It’s not the first time our liberties with language has caused an editorial eye twitch, and it won’t be the last.

    My only concern is that, well… many of your readers are likely ill educated in regards to the quite respectable size that real live catfish can reach. They’re also likely fully ignorant of the extreme sport of drunken noodling, and the threat these fish pose to life, limb and lungs.

    Thus, when reading a sentence like “He was later drug to his death by a catfish” they will likely think he was roofied by a fictional persona. So I’d opt for clarity over either dialect OR grammatical correctness.

    Of course, a brief educational aside could be inserted, elucidating both the southern meaning of “drug” , AND the mean-ass temperament of catfish, AND the mental health hazards which Texas authors pose to book editors and their twitchy eyes.


  197. I love you dearly, but if you use “drug” there, I will have no choice but to huddle in a corner and cry softly to myself. FOR DAYS.

  198. After mulling this over in a think tank for two full days, with several hours spent searching through various editions of the dictionary and thesaurus, as well as scouring several multilingual data bases, it has been concluded that this is a trick question.

  199. Do what makes you happy. Honestly, by the end of the chapter is anyone even going to remember that word choice? Is anyone going to put the book down because “drug”? If they do, they’re not really Bloggessians and probably need more drug than you can give them. I mean, I’m a writer, I get the whole grammar/usage thing (though frankly not the melodrama surrounding it). But I’m also not letting go of “funner” or “on accident” without a fight, because that is MY voice and nobody else gets to define it. But then, I’m on a sort of not-giving-a-fuck spree right now, so maybe I’m not the best person to listen to in regards to “appropriate”.

  200. You’d drug someone too, if you knew your relatives heads were nailed to a table and then they was skinned alive.

  201. As I writer, I can tell you that, all other considerations aside, you can’t say “drug” without your reader for a half-second or even longer thinking of “drugs.”

    It’s a stumbling block: drop it.

  202. On second thought, what about: “He was later drug to his death by a gang of catfish.” I mean, why not go all the way with this thing? 🙂

  203. I’ve said “drug” myself probably 99% of the times I’ve needed to use such a verb. Every once in a blue moon I’ll say “dragged”. Like “He drug himself to the store for lube.” Or “They dragged her corpse through the mud just to add insult to injury.” It doesn’t make any sense, and neither do I. I suppose that’s all I’m saying. Maybe just fuck the whole thing and use “drugged”.

  204. Use whatever word will get your book in my hands faster! Seriously. If your editor holes up in a closet, unwilling to budge on your use of the word drug, concede the point for my well being. Call me selfish, but the world could use a good laugh.

  205. English is confusing. Try, He was later transported to his death by catfish. solves the whole debate really.

  206. I’m sorry, I’m on team dragged, unless the catfish was a pill pusher.
    Huzzah! A 2nd book!

  207. If a character who speaks in dialect is speaking, drug would be okay (and you probably wouldn’t even get yelled at). But unless the rest of the story is written in the same dialect, I think dragged would be better.

  208. I might assume it was American for drugged, and wonder what he was drinking for catfish to manage such a feat.

  209. Can shut your muffin hole be like shut your piehole only a little friendlier because I’d like to think muffins are less fattening and a friendlier threat over all when compared to pie. Maybe not as tasty though.

  210. Wait, slunk isn’t a word???

    Second, and most importantly, I hope there is a correlating chapter in your book! We’re all going to be searching for catfish and drugs! Although, I want more info on the wrong number dead body guy. Like did you ever hear from him again?

  211. There’s an excellent book by H. Allen Smith titled “Lost in the Horse Latitudes.” (Copyright 1944) In chapter XVIII, he relates the story of a Hollywood producer making a jungle picture who insisted on having the largest hippo in the world in it. One paragraph:
    “After hours of wrestling with the problem they hired the biggest flat-bed truck they could find and backed it up to the flat car. They brought in a powerful crane. They fastened chains around the recumbent beast and they drug him off. There is no such word as drug, as used int he foregoing sentence, but I like it and I’m writing this book, not you. They drug him onto the truck and drove him to the place where the jungle had been built. Now a new problem arose. The hippopotamus was prone to stay prone. They didn’t want to drag him off the truck and onto the ground for fear they would break him. Then along came someone with a thought bordering on intelligence.”

  212. Drug sounds funny to me, but dragged would sound funny if the rest of the paragraph was using southern colloquialisms, so use whatever you think sounds best. It is your book anyway!

    And I am on #TeamSlunk with you and Auntie Meme. Slinked is for slinky toys and slinky dresses. If someone was fixin’ to sashay around in dark corners, slunk is definitely the way to go.

  213. Being raised by a grammar-nazi I have always been hyper-aware of word usage, until this year. I am taking a linguistics class and have learned that any words used by humans to communicate are valid. No words are right or wrong as long as people can understand you. Also, did you know the word “ask” that millions of kids “mispronounce” as aks actually originated as aks, It changed to ask when we switched from old english to modern english around 1100 AD. Some dialects still use that pronunciation. Anyway this is a long way to say, if you would normally say drug, then use it!

  214. This isn’t really about being dragged, drugged, drug, although Ive certainlyexperienced all of that, probably.
    I reread your book because I needed to clear my sinuses and then, my husband started trying to bleed out through his nose. I’m not blaming your book because he didn’t even read it. Anyway, the result was ER, tampons, silver nitrate cater and a large balloon. So you COULD say that rereading your book was an excuse for an ugly, though kinda festive party.
    thaks, Jenny

  215. I read this too fast, and I thought the post was a way to illustrate the difference. Like the first one is about somebody who’s catfish fed them too many sleeping pills or something. Which feels totally appropriate.

    I love your voice, I loved your first book. I think you should use the one that feels like you.

  216. You didn’t give me the option I want…”I’m Southern too (KY) and this sounds fine just the way it is dammit.” Lol. I know its incorrect but I hate using dragged.

  217. Huh! I never considered the fact that sometimes, when I don’t speak good, it might actually be dialect and not my knowledge.

    I feel strangely liberated, and strangely accepting of different ways of saying things now. Thanks!

  218. “drug” would give me mild itchy skin. “Fixin to” would lead to a full on hives. “Might could,” or “Might can” might lead to anaphylaxis. If you do publish this book, could you include a warning for yankees?

    (BTW, my daughter, NY born and bread, now in California, almost DIED hearing friends from TN reciting “you get what you get and you don’t pitch a fit.” In NY, we don’t get upset, to rhyme with get. Not “git” and “fit.”)

  219. If it works for Robert Earl Keen in a song (“…I drug you into this”)(come to think of it, the song about a drug bust, not sure Mr. REK was being ironical but he was an English major)(At A&M, in case people didn’t know those exist)(another parentheical statement for no reason since I’m over-explaining already) you can use it in a sentence. FWIW (nothing) it must be a Texas thing because 1) I didn’t interpret it in the pharma way until I read the comments (sheesh, people, get a life)(yes, me too) and 2) I was thinking DAMN, now that musta been a helluva fish…can’t recall her Dad mounting fish in the book so wonder what’s up in the story (mounting as in taxidermy. “Nice mount of that buck; who does your work.” “Some dude in Wall.”).

    If you’ve read this far, I’m #315. If you were giving away mixers on your blog I’d be comment #64,305. The road goes on forever and the comments never end.

  220. Honestly I don’t think the catfish has a true grasp of proper English so I say go with what feels right to you and the catfish. Maybe the catfish had eaten some LSD and he did “drug” the guy. I don’t know said fish very well and it is certainly not my place to judge the fish.

  221. I prefer dragged because it is correct, but I really voted that way because I love when people say “Sweet baby Jesus”. I’m Catholic and we rarely (never) refer to Jesus specifically when he was a baby but I thoroughly enjoy when others do.

  222. LMAO! Normally, I’m all about use-it-right-or-don’t-use-it. But if that’s the voice, then be real. I’m laughing, though, because I’m wondering if your poll actually narrowed it down for you. I’m so glad that the ‘contradict yourself in the space of a dozen or so words’ option isn’t ahead in the running.

    Thanks for making me laugh.

  223. Using “drug” will pain me. I wouldn’t get angry and punch you, I would just be very disappointed. Lol

  224. I love Jenny and I love Don in Huaco. But then again, I have a reputation, as a girl who got around.
    You other people REALLY say “Look what the cat dragged in?” Why bother? That point of that statement is only conveyed correctly when it is said as, “Hmmphf. Well. Looka wha’ d’ cat druuuuuuuug en.” Unless you are truly speaking of a dead rabbit or piece of yarn.

  225. I think whenever you’re telling a story about a man’s death by catfish, go with whatever your heart tells you.
    Also, this better be a story in your next book because I don’t know if I can handle not knowing the context of this sentence 🙂

  226. I strongly recommend “He was later drugged to his death by catfish.” Proper grammar and a good story.

  227. “He was later drug to his death by catfish.” to me sounds like the catfish drugged him to his death. You know, with drugged with drugs.

  228. My East Texas grandma is a dictionary of words used like this. She’s particularly fond of “strown,” as in “You grandpa has left his stuff strown all over the house again.” I think it’s a conflation of strewn and thrown, both of which would be correct if used by themselves.

  229. Drug in this context is never correct English. It is slang or more correctly colloquial, but with the advent of the internet, we see many slang terms entering into mainstream usage and being accepted as correct. The US has become a major influence on language in other English speaking countries including my own, Australia.

    To me as an educated user of the English language, using drug instead of dragged is similar to the misuse of then and than. It has become so bad that I see then used for than more often than than used for than but I digress.

    BTW Grammar Nazi is a term used by those who don’t know any better to describe those who do.

  230. Your book, your words. It may make us northerners cringe, but screw us. Plus, grammatically incorrect colloquialisms are highly entertaining.
    Plus, context people! Get over your grammar issues. (I’ll be one of the ones having grammar issues, but I’m totes okay with it – see what I did there?)

  231. Alright, I’m fixin’ to tell you…
    I’m from the South, and am currently being tortured up north (does not deserve a capital designation, as it is torture not a location). I have said “drug” because “dragged” just sounds wrong. As in “I drug my husband into the Apple store for a new phone.” And boy, did I not hear the end of it here. I was informed (forcefully) that it was bad grammar. So, I found an old Websters in my kids school library…and under drug: “A substance to change behavior or mood” “Past tense of drag, to be used interchangeably with dragged” and I read no more, I found what I wanted. It’s all the uptight buttholes who can’t handle it, I’m good with drug.

  232. I’m from Montana. Drug as the past tense of drag sounds fine to me, and I’m kind of sensitive to grammatical dumbassery — must be a dialect thing here too. I know “hanged” is used (properly) only for neck hangings, such as “hanged from the neck until he be dead,” whereas hung works for Christmas tree ornaments and everything else. Could be that dragged is proper for everything except catfish.

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