Woke! Past Tense of the Infinitive Verb “To Wake”

David Nour
David Nour

As some of you may know, Alan Weiss is one of my Curve Benders. His command of the English language is as impressive as the preciseness of his messaging. Here is one from a recent newsletter. Enjoy.






“Woke” has been usually recognized as the past tense of the infinitive verb “to wake.” I woke up this morning. I woke up recently to the need for more exercise. Today, of course, it is used almost entirely to refer to being alert to injustices in society, and is often used in the nails on a blackboard construction, “we need to stay woke.” 



On the agreement I’ll use the configuration “to be sensitive to and willing to take action about” here are some issues I believe fit the category. Let’s heighten awareness and take action about:



  • Teachers’ unions and politicians playing with school systems for their own aggrandizement and ignoring their customers: the parents and kids.
  • Someone disagreeing with you is not, perforce, a horrible and unethical person to be shunned and shamed.
  • There is no one present with the key to the higher ground of perfect morality. (Forgive the religious reference, but we’re all sinners.)
  • Indeed things need substantial improvement socially and in our justice system, but they have improved and are still improving. We need to recognize progress, not merely attack a lack of perfection.
  • Blaming people today for transgressions of hundreds of years ago and assigning contemporary guilt will generate nothing but resistance and resentment. 
  • Taking Abraham Lincoln’s name off of anything, he being one of the greatest humans in history, is a sign of remarkable ignorance, and allowing it to happen is a symbol of cowardly passivity.
  • Perfectly healthy people refusing to take a vaccine that will immediately and demonstrably help all of society is not a sign of prudence, caution, or independence but rather one of aberrant ignorance and selfishness.
  • We cannot eradicate Covid, but we can learn to live with it and its inevitable future variants through vaccinations and prudence. Continual lockdowns such as we see particularly in Australia and New Zealand are misinformed, zealous attempts to eradicate it which will eradicate small businesses and life savings.
  • Schools and government have a right to refuse entry to people who choose not to be vaccinated against a highly communicable and potentially deadly disease.

Those are some of the issues I think we should all be sensitive to and willing to take action to support or resist. If you don’t agree, I recognize your right and don’t feel you’re a bad person and certainly not one to be publicly mocked. 



Unless, of course, you feel that Tom Brady is not the greatest quarterback of all time.

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