Spit, spat, spitten

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Jan 31 07:28:51 UTC 2001

At 3:01 PM -0500 1/31/01, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:
>>>"Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage" (1989):
>>>"The common verb _spit_ has as its past tense and past participle either
>>>_spat_ or _spit_.
>>But this suggests Beverly is the last hold-out in her use of 'spat'
>>as the past/preterite, which is surely false.  I hear both 'spat' and
>>'spit' and if anything would vote for the former as more frequent.
>>I'd also have guessed that 'spat' is if anything MORE likely to occur
>>as the simple past than as the participle, contra the MWDEU.
>I think the book is saying both "spit, spat, spat" and "spit, spit, spit"
>are usual.
You're right; I misread it.


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