Spit, spat, spitten

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Wed Jan 31 21:21:46 UTC 2001

At 03:28 PM 1/31/01 +0800, you wrote:
>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.

OK, at the risk of soiling my pristine reputation, I'm going to ask if the
first paradigm above also works for the verb "shit":  Does anyone use
"shat" for p.t. and p.p.?  (Horrors, did I really write that??)  My
dictionary doesn't even include the base word!

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

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