UK Past Participle: Got
US Past Participle: Gotten
UK Past Participle: Knitted
US Past Participle: Knit (“Name three places you’ve knit”)
UK Past Participle: Spat
US Past Participle: Spit
I’m not about to launch off into some rant or start picking apart the different grammatical reasons why one nation does it one way and one does it another (after all, not only do I have lots of extremely attractive and intelligent US readers, I also know that we’ll all be speaking American in 50 years so it doesn’t really matter), it’s merely something that I’ve wanted to note down for a while – ever since I started this blog, in fact, and kept reading blogs where someone has “knit” something. Not only does that sound entirely bizarre to me, it also leaves me puzzled as to why you American readers out there are happy to leave some past participles in the present tense (knit, spit, shit etc), but feel overwhelmed by the urge to make “got” look more past tensey. What’s all that about?
Probably there’s some logical explanation, something to do with the great vowel shift, or the state of the language when those religious extremists hopped on a boat to the new world, but really I just felt the urge to note it down.
I’ve also been known to sit down and list the entire weasel genus (ferret, stoat, pole cat, pine martin, otter, I could go on), the complete set of Greek gods along with their Roman equivalents, and all my best friends in order. It’s only a matter of time before I start naming nuts.