Here’s a Times headline from October 2021: “Murray: I could be convinced to play in the Davis Cup”. The tennis champion Andy Murray may well have said this, although it could equally be the result of a paraphrase by the newspaper’s sub-editor. It doesn’t matter: what interests me is the use of “convinced” to replace “persuaded”. And I draw attention to it because “persuade” is a verb that is disappearing from the language.

“Convince” is used instead, as in my example above, or: “I convinced him to take an umbrella.” But “to convince” is, properly, to overcome (by force or by argument) while “to persuade” is “to bring over” (to one’s point of view). And “convince” should not be followed by an infinitive. The conventional construction is with “of…” or “that…” (“I convinced him of the likelihood of my forecast”; “I convinced him that the weather would be wet”). The new use is, I’m fairly certain, an Americanism, but it may have grown up simultaneously on both sides of the Atlantic.