last week a student asked me about the expression sunk cost. i told her the expression should be sunken cost, but my correction was based on grammar and as it ends up, not exactly correct.
both expressions mean the same thing. this blog refers to sunken costs, or costs that cannot be recuperated but twitter and google turn up more examples of sunk costs than sunken costs .
the verb sink is sank in the past and sunk is the participle. sunken is an alternative participle but is more frequently used as an adjective that means submerged or below. for example, sunken treasure is a standard device in pirate stories and sunken gardens can be found in various cities across the united states. there are a few in chicago and there is also one in denver’s la alma neighborhood. these places have sunken in their names too:
sunken garden theater in san antonio, texas
sunken meadow state park beach in new york
parque hundido (sunken park) in mexico city
also check this headline about an explosion on an oil drilling platform last week: