Is it proper to use the past tense of the verb “plead” as “Joe plead not guilty” or “Joe pleaded not guilty”?
Lately, I have seen most websites use the term “pleaded”. But I have always been under the impression the correct past tense was “plead” (pronounced “pled”).
In fact, although I usually see it written as “pleaded”, that just sounds so wrong when I hear someone say it that way. For example, here is a recent news article in which the verb appears to be used both ways:
St. Patrick’s Day attackers plead guilty in videotaped beating <snip>
<snip>Four young people charged in a videotaped attack on a drunken tourist, who was beaten, robbed and stripped in front of a city courthouse on St. Patrick’s day, pleaded guilty to their roles in the crime Monday <snip>
If I got this wrong and the first use of “plead” is the present tense, I still see many, many stories in which both forms of “plead” are used in both the past and present tense.