You can wreak havoc.

But the past tense is WREAKED. Which sounds clumsy and horrible. And newsreaders and reporters seem to love using it.

So there I was getting all grumpy, writing a blog post the chastise their incorrect English usage, when I decided to actually check.


Imagine my chagrin to find that the past tense of WREAK is in fact WREAKED.

WROUGHT, on the other hand is an archaic past tense of WORK.

In some cases, the thing that WREAKS HAVOC actually WORKS HAVOC, and so a past tense WROUGHT HAVOC is in fact correct. But generally, the past tense is WREAKED.

Which is still ugly sounding, and clumsy.

One Comment

…..methinks you need to find yourself a nice hot cup of tea and some squares of dark chocolate. Before YOU start wreaking havoc!

Comment by Kath Lockett | February 12th, 2009 9:05 am | Permalink

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