Generally, the rule is that if there is a verb form with -ed, American English will use it, and if there is a form with -t, British English uses it. However, these forms do not exist for every verb and there is variation.
The British use of "t" at the end of words reminds me of German because they have plenty of verbs that use a "t" at the end. Which makes sense, because old English is scarily similar to German.
The list I found is a part of a List of American vs. British Spelling, where there's lots of good stuff, including Common Words in American and British English, and related links.
The "leaped" versus "leapt" issue is featured in an article on a diagramming in The Chronicle of Higher Education on May 14, 2009. Love your web log!
Thanks--I haven't seen that publication in years. And thanks for the compliment as well :D
"verbs: past tenses -t/-ed Both forms of ending are acceptable in British English, but the -t form is dominant--burnt, learnt, spelt--whereas American English uses -ed: burned, learned, spelled. Contrarily, British English uses -ed for the past tense and the past participle of certain verbs--quitted, sweated--while American English uses the infinitive spelling--quit, sweat. Some verbs have a different form of past tense and past participle, eg, the past tense of dive is dived in British English but dove in American English."
(The Economist Style Guide, 10th ed. Profile Books, 2010)
Thanks for the info. I really like The Economist btw.
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