I have a feeling we are going to need this tidbit of grammar with increasing frequency over coming weeks or months.
It is said by grammar mavens that pleaded is more correct, but pled seems to be more often used in spoken language, and frankly, sounds way better to me.
I google N-gramed (or is that “Ned-gram”) the two words and got this interesting chart:
So, pleaded wins by a mile.
But what about that long term change over time? I’m thinking this means that the word “plea” in all its forms was being used in regular English text (“I plea you give no truck to the wasterel, me’lord,” and the like), where now it is mostly used in phrases like “Trump’s lawyer and fixer, wise-guy Michael Cohen, pled guilty to helping Trump fix the election,” or “Trump’s former campaign manager and well known wise guy Paul Manafort could have pleaded guilty and gotten a deal, but he may have been more concerned with being rubbed out by the Russians than about a few years in jail” or “Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, pled guilty rather than stand trial” and so on.
Anyway, pleaded is more correct, pled is preferred. Now you know. Now, you can no longer plea ignorance on this question.