There is the famous idiom, "Dont cry over spilled/spilt milk."
My question is, which is correct? Spilled or spilt?
I was told by an English teacher that 'spilled' was the correct usage of the word. Is this true?
Last edited by beascarpetta; 22-Aug-2008 at 08:09.
The "ed" form seems more common in the US.
Here in the UK, I would definately say "spilt milk".
And here are the first few for 'spilt':1 WINE 4
2 MILK 4
3 COFFEE 3
4 WATER 3
5 PAINT 2
6 WHISKY 1
More here: [Davies/BYU] BYU-BNC: British National Corpus1 MILK 12
2 BLOOD 6
3 BEER 6
4 COFFEE 5
5 WINE 3
6 DRINK 2
7 TEA 2
8 PINS 2
9 OIL 2
10 YOLK 1
So they both exist, but collocation is important.
(Note - some course-books are not very helpful about this. For example, Cutting Edge Upper-Int describes only one, and then gives examples of the other.
Last edited by BobK; 22-Aug-2008 at 16:43.
I'd say most Americans would say "spilt" because we recognize this as a British idiom.
My favourite is "proven/proved", which demonstrates strongly the importance of context. 'Proven' is chiefly* used in pharmaceutical adverts! ("Brand X - clinically proven to reduce cholesterol.")
* Perhaps I'm exaggerating a little.