Posted by: Jack Henry | November 29, 2012

Editor’s Corner: The Sign of Fire

1. My mom and I learned to cook at the Seattle School of Overcooking. Rather than risk salmonella or trichinosis, we tend to go for high heat and crispy food. Last night, with both of us in the kitchen, it was a two (smoke) alarm dinner, so I thought this was a very fitting article from Grammar Girl (


The Verb: “Burned” Versus “Burnt”

“Burned” and “burnt” are both acceptable past-tense forms of the verb “burn,” but which one you use depends on where you live because the verb “burned" is the most common form in the United States, and the verb "burnt" is the most common form in Britain.

· Mom burned the muffins.

· Mum burnt the crumpets.

The Adjective: “Burned” Versus “Burnt”

When you’re using the words as adjectives, then "burnt" is also used in the United States, although "burned" is still an option.

· My favorite dessert is burnt cream. [KC – This is a dessert? Mom, I think we’d excel at this!]

· What happened to my burnt umber crayon? [KC – I tried to melt it and make a candle.]

· My husband looked at the burnt turkey and suggested we order pizza. [KC – No, he looked at the burnt salmon, ate it, and liked it.]

That’s the story: “Burned” and “burnt” are both OK. If you’re in the United States, you’ll sound more natural if you stick with “burned” as the verb and save “burnt” to use as an adjective.

Sorry no quiz today folks—just a little too busy!

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

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