We have become so accustomed to seeing what are “prescriptively” grammatical errors, that we begin accepting them readily. How many times have you logged into an account on the Internet using your username and password and noticed, albeit unconsciously, the cryptic “Forgot (your) password?” below the login.
The full version, prescriptively – that is, the grammatically correct sentence – is actually “Have you forgotten your password?” or perhaps “Did you forget your password?” Thus the short form should be “Forgotten (your) password?” But note that “Forget (your) password?” has an entirely different meaning.
Language change often comes about in this way . . . and certainly there is no problem understanding the message. In fact, we really don’t even actively read the message because all we need to know is captured in the two words: forgot — password.
But the keen eye of a good editor notices all (good catch, Jeremy). Food for thought.
Can anyone reading this blog construct a full sentence where “Forgot password?” works? Please submit your suggestions. And don’t forget your English!