"risen" for "raised"

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Feb 21 17:33:42 UTC 2008

At 11:55 AM -0500 2/21/08, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
>On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 11:27 AM, Benjamin Zimmer
><bgzimmer at babel.ling.upenn.edu> wrote:
>>   On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 10:36 AM, <RonButters at aol.com> wrote:
>>  > Perhaps this is just a typo the both the author and editor missed--or a
>>   > hypercorrection--or do people really normally use "risen" as
>>the past participle of
>>   > "raise"?
>>   >
>  >  > "Campbell has risen far more in campaign contributions than his [two]
>  >  > opponents combined, with a large chunk coming from builders
>and contractors." --
>>   > Lauren Sellers, "Three with varied viewpoints want Allen's
>>house seat," ORLANDO
>>   > SENTINEL, 2-21-08, pB3.
>>  I blame the insidious grammar checker in Microsoft Word. When I run
>>   the sentence with "raised" through the checker in MS Word 2003, it
>>   suggests replacing "raised" with "risen". So most likely it's a
>>   grammatical Cupertino [*].
>>   [*] http://blog.oup.com/2007/11/spellchecker/
>Now on Language Log:
It's actually subtler than your description of the facts, Ben.  You
observe in the LL post that
It's a rather odd "incorrection" for MS Word to make. I could
understand the grammar checker flagging "has rised," but "has raised"
is, by and large, used in a perfectly grammatical fashion - very
often in the exact context of the Orlando Sentinel article,
specifiying how much money a candidate has raised.
But in fact if the Sentinel reporter had written and spell-checked not

"Campbell has raised far more in campaign contributions than both his
opponents combined,

but rather

"Campbell has raised more campaign contributions than both his
opponents combined."

no incorrection to "risen" would have been suggested.  It\'s not the
"has raised" that has raised (*risen) the spell-checker's red flag
but the "(has) raised...in...", which it took (incorrectly, but
plausibly) to signal the presence of an intransitive "rise/risen" as
opposed to a transitive "raise/raised".  (On the model of "You've
raised my expectations/You've risen in my expectations".)  In the
case at issue, "raise" is a transitive verb being used absolutely,
but you'll have to admit that's a pretty subtle point for the
spell-check to be expected to grasp.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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