Of course not. Like a Dickens character, the English language has a convoluted and improbable past. Which is why we have a verb like lead, whose past tense (led) sounds like another word spelled exactly the same as its present tense (lead).
|Our sinister guide led us down into the catacombs but gave no promise to lead us out again.|
Lead (rhymes with bead): verb. To show the way
Led (rhymes with bed): verb. Past tense of lead
Lead (rhymes with dead): noun. A kind of metal, or the graphite core of a pencil
According to Word Origins by John Ayto, the verb comes from a Germanic word meaning “journey,” while the noun is probably derived from an Indo-European word for “flow” (because the metal is quick to melt). As for pencil leads, when graphite was first discovered, people mistakenly thought it was a kind of lead, and a pencil’s core has been referred to as a “lead” ever since.
- “Lead on, Macduff” is a misquotation of Macbeth.
- Agnes’s practical joke went over like a lead balloon.
- Joachim’s leading lady led him astray.
- “No, chewing on your pencil won’t give you lead poisoning,” said Hélène, “but it’s gross.”
- Our sinister guide led us down into the catacombs but made no promise to lead us out again.
|Agnes’s practical joke went over like a lead balloon.|
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