Grammar Pleaded vs. Pled and Enormity Defined |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Pleaded vs. Pled and Enormity Defined

Today I will answer a couple of questions I received from radio listeners when I was a guest.

Question: Should you say “pleaded guilty” or “pled guilty”? Answer: Either one is considered correct.

Question: Does “enormity” mean “something monstrous” or “something huge”? Answer: In formal writing, enormity has nothing to do with something’s size. The word is frequently misused: the “enormity” of football linemen, or the “enormity” of the task. For that, we have such words as immensity, vastness, hugeness, enormousness.

Enormity is an ethical, judgmental word meaning “great wickedness,” “a hideous crime.” The enormity of Jonestown doesn’t mean Jonestown was a huge place, but rather, the site of a hugely outrageous tragedy.

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2 responses to “Pleaded vs. Pled and Enormity Defined”

  1. Keith C Cannon says:

    Pled is singular, pleaded is plural. I pled guilty, we pleaded with him time and time again.

    • Pled can also be plural and pleaded can be singular. However, the AP Stylebook says that pled is colloquial and should not be used in formal English.
      Update: The 55th edition of the AP Stylebook (2020-2022), deleted guidance not to use pled.

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