Sunday, June 26, 2011

Is "shrank" a word?

While driving today, I passed by a sign advertising a sale at a furniture store stating "Honey they shrunk the prices." This phrase is a play on the movie title "Honey, I've Shrunk the Kids," and if I remember correctly, I've seen this used in advertising from time to time. At the point of remembering the movie title, it made me wonder if the statement the furniture store was using was grammatically correct. At the time, I couldn't remember what the past participle versus the past tense of "shrink" is. I was certain that "shrunk" is the past participle, but the past tense conjugation is what I couldn't remember. Shrink is actually not a word I use a lot, and then I couldn't stop thinking about whether or not the past tense was "shrank" or "shrunk." It would be nice to think that it follows the rules of a verb like "drink," but I know English well enough that I can't make such an assumption--or at least my characteristic of over-analysing everything causes me to think that maybe "shrink" is one of those verbs that's an exception to the rule when it comes to conjugation.

As I ended up being out most of the day and not in a position to check online on my smart phone for the answer, I waited until I got home to look it up. Even with other languages I speak, I often use an online verb conjugator, and I happened to find this really good one: I discovered that indeed, the past tense of "shrink" is "shrank," meaning that the advertisement I saw today is grammatically incorrect. Score 1 for the Grammar Geek. I wonder if the company would care if I were to point this out to them! Tee hee :o)

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