Posted by: Jack Henry | October 18, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Proved and Proven

The other day one of you asked me about the words proved and proven and if we could discuss their usage. Of course we can!

First, the obvious: both are from the verb to prove, meaning to demonstrate the truth of something, such as a theory. Generally, in American English, proven is used as an adjective. For example, “He’s a proven genius, with an IQ over 145.” Proved is usually the inflected form of the verb, such as “I proved that I could turn water into wine,” said the Mad Hatter.

Here is some additional information, from the Grammarist, where you can also read additional examples of their use.

Both forms are many centuries old. Proven appears in the 15th-century works of Chaucer, for instance. But proved has always been the prevalent inflection ever since prove emerged from its pre-Middle English roots, and only over the last century or so has proven gained significant ground. This doesn’t mean proven is wrong, though. It is a very well-established form, and only a few people from outside North America consider it questionable.

“Whenever I feel sad, depressed, morose, dejected, or glum I remind myself it’s all my parents fault for getting me a Thesaurus for Christmas.” –Matt Oswalt

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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