Strong Verbs

They call it “ablaut” in German. It’s when you show the present, past, and perfect forms of a verb by changing the vowel. Sing, sang, sung, for example. I have run into people getting this wrong in writing so often lately that I finally decided to mention it. (Again) This time with a comic. Second panel:

Should be “sprang,” of course. Brooke McEldowney, the cartoonist, Is a high-class sort of guy, so I suspect he’s accommodating the character of the speaker, for whom English is their second language.

But you, dear reader, probably don’t have that excuse. Don’t use the perfect when the simple past will do.