past tense of forbid

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 23 01:47:13 UTC 2014

In an online WPost article today on Justice Sotomayor's dissent from a
majority opinion of the SCOTUS, Robert Barnes writes, "She reprinted pages
of graphics showing the decline of minorities at top universities in
California and Michigan since the states forbid the use of racial
considerations."  It's possible to construe "forbid" in this sentence as a
present tense if "since" is causal, but it reads more like a temporal
"since," which makes a past interpretation more likely.  I've noticed for
some time some uncertainty among professional writers as to the past tense
form of "forbid."  This is not the question of how to pronounce "forbade,"
but rather whether the form is being replaced by the present stem.


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