Grammar Tip #11: Spit? Spat? Spitted?

The other day I walked by a mom who was saying to her kid, “It’s ‘spit,’ not ‘spitted’!” She seemed quite angry.

I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but I cannot stand it when people use “spit” as the past tense of “spit,” instead of using “spat.” I looked it up in the Oxford Canadian, and they say you can use either. But I think “spat” sounds more intelligent. Plus that’s what I learned when I was young.

So I would say to any kids or adults who want to talk about spitting in the past tense, “It’s not ‘spit’ and it’s not ‘spitted.’ It’s ‘spat’!”

They would probably tell me to get a life.