Advertisement

Casted

The verb cast is conventionally uninflected in the past tense and as a past participle. Casted  is an old form—examples are easily found in texts from every century from the 14th to the present—but it has given way to cast in modern English. In current usage, however, casted is gaining ground, especially where cast means either (1) to assemble actors for a performance, or (2) to throw out bait and/or a lure on a fishing line. (Both these senses have extended metaphorical uses where casted is likewise used at least some of the time). Many people object to casted, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is catching on and not likely to go away soon.

Examples

First, let’s look at two examples of the traditional form. In this example, cast is used as a past-tense verb:

I cast my line, and sure enough he was all over it. [Colorado Angler]

And in this sentence, cast is a past participle:


Advertisement

Ranulph Mabier, cast ashore by one of the Channel’s fierce storms, comes to live with the du Frocqs … [Shelf Love]

When the verb cast means to assemble a lineup of actors, the past-tense and past-participle casted is becoming more common. Here are a few examples of the word in action:

Jessica Biel, left, and Jaime Foxx, centre front, star in Garry Marshall’s impressively casted romantic comedy Valentine’s Day. [Metro News]

The total votes casted in Uniontown on Tuesday were 1,431, which represented a turnout of 55 percent.  [Associated Press via Real Clear Politics]

It has casted a pall over Delhi’s Games just as the problem-plagued event has begun to iron out the kinks. [Australian]

Of course, we are never required to use casted, and those who prefer the older form can go on using it, even in theater- and fishing-related contexts. Most editors around the English-speaking world still stamp it out when they see it.

Advertisement

Check Your Text

Comments

  1. Prof John says:

    “He casted a play” is just fine.

    Also, in fishing – “she casted into the deep pool area”.

  2. I strongly disagree, Casted is NOT a word. Just because people use it doesn’t mean it is a word. Just because ain’t is now in the dictionary doesn’t mean it’s a word either. When fishing you cast, present and past tense. When casting a film a role has been cast. Casted is NOT a word.

    • Grammarist says:

      A word is a sound or a combination of sounds that communicates a meaning. “Casted” is one of these. One of the beautiful things about English is that there is no all-powerful arbiter who decides these things for us. The language is shaped by how English-speakers use it. Most dictionaries are historical documents, not guides for proper usage; all they do is set down a record of the language as English-speakers use it and have used it. Whether any of us finds a word objectionable doesn’t enter into it.

      Anyway, it is obvious lots of people have decided “casted” is a useful word, and there’s nothing we can do about that. The good news is we are all free to shun words we don’t like, and no one is ever going to force you to adopt this new word.

      Plus, something we neglect to mention in the above post (but will cover in our next revision) is that “casted” is actually an old form going all the way back to Old English, and examples are easily found in English texts from as recent as the 18th century. It just fell out of favor for a while, and now it’s starting to come back.

      • Language is made up of rules. There is a right way and a wrong way. Normally the americans shorten things and it becomes accepted in culture through use. This doesn’t make it correct. Proper english is laid down and changes slightly with modernism. Casted is not a word in the english dictionary and in use there isn’t a requirement to use the extended ‘casted’. Bottom line is that it is used through ignorance of the correct terminology. Your 3rd & 4th sentences are not accepted by my school upbringing, sorry chum.

        • Please point us toward the rule saying that “cast” cannot be inflected “casted” in the past tense. Even if there were so-called rules for this sort of thing, the rule would be that we make verbs past tense by adding “-ed.” The uninflected past-tense “cast” flaunts this rule because it is an irregular verb–i.e., a verb that by convention breaks the rules. So if you believe so strongly in letting rules guide our language in a perfectly logical way, then you should be in favor of the newer form.

          “Casted,” incidentally, is a very old form. Chaucer used it, and so did Shakespeare a couple of centuries later. The reason we typically use “cast” in the past tense is that lots of people did it that way and it became conventional–exactly what you say “doesn’t make it correct.”

          This is of course a useless discussion, though, as we know from long experience that there’s no point trying to discuss these things with people who insist that their own English–i.e., the rules and norms they learned in school–is the only proper English, especially when it gives them an excuse to talk about the ignorance of Americans (or whoever they don’t like).

          • In your last sentence, shouldn’t you have used “whomever,” rather than “whoever?”

          • Grammarist says:

            If we were writing formally, yes. But don’t you think a more conversational tone is appropriate for internet comment sections?

          • RK in Denver says:

            It doesn’t flout (what you *meant* to say instead of “flaunt” — ye gods and little fishes!) the -ed rule; the question is whether the past form of “cast” is an irregular verb in all cases or not. As an analog, the past form of “hang” can be either regular (ending in -ed) or irregular; we say “hung” if we’re talking about pictures on a wall, and “hanged” if we’re talking about felons. No one is arguing that the usual past tense of “cast” is the irregular “cast”, which resembles the past of other one-syllable verbs ending in -t such as cut, hurt, put, and quit; however, does there exist a case where the regular -ed form, casted, is correct? I think that in reference to casting a film, or casting actors for a role, that it is. It’s a different sense from the original meaning of the verb, which is “to throw.”

          • RK in Denver says:

            However, it’s worth noting that Merriam-Webster does not recognize “casted” in any sense, even the medical one.

        • randell says:

          casted is indeed a word. anyone who says otherwise is an idiot. casted is an old form of the past tense of cast. it was used as early as the 1500s

    • Fiddlesticks. You do not decide what is wrong and what is right. It used to be a proper word, and it will be a proper word again if enough people agree. Nobody will ask you.

    • Lincoln Maurice says:

      8saefohDSFHLH is a word, Donna. It’s just not a very good one. Casted is a better word than 8saefohDSFHLH, but proper English would dictate the use of “cast” under most circumstances. Its proliferation can probably be pointed to similar sounding words for which the “ed” suffix is actually appropriate. I mostly refer to “accost” as an example, but there are a few others. Similarities in context and sound issue the usage without assuage to these now former relics of our language.

  3. I casted my vote today! I embrace the use of this word-if it was okay then, why can’t we use it now?

    • Lincoln Maurice says:

      The words “fuck”, “cunt”, “nigger”, “faggot” and “coon” were all once acceptable terms. Why not use them now?

      Oh, right…

  4. UltimaRex says:

    Come on people, it’s two letters LESS. For once you can be lazy and not feel guilty about it.

    The past tense of cast is cast.

  5. In the sense of being in a cast (like a plaster cast—”her casted leg”), this feels correct. No?

  6. Tsunoba says:

    What about in terms of casting a spell? There’s this one game that counts “spells casted” at the end of every level, and it REALLY annoyed me because I have never heard or read anyone saying “I casted a spell,” or any variation of that. My spell check is also underlining the word.

  7. The argument about its past usage notwithstanding, the fact is that whether or not the word is “becoming popular,” it doesn’t change the fact that, to the educated, it makes a person sound stupid. I’m sorry, it just does. When I see someone use a word like “casted” or “fallow” in place of “follow” I know that I am dealing with someone 20 or younger. And I don’t see it as “oh joy, the English language is evolving again!” No, I see it as, “God kids today are so ignorant!”

    You can tell a lot about a person by their grammar. Words like “shit” and “f***” have real definitions, but they are also “vulgar” which means “common.” People traditionally use them when they do not have enough social grace to know not to. Maybe you talk that way and feel comfortable doing so .. maybe you have no problem telling me that my words are “disrespecting you” .. but no matter how good you feel about it, I will always view you as less educated than me. Like it or not, it’s a fact.

    • randell says:

      You clearly are not as educated as you think because casted is an old form of the past tense of cast it was used as early as the 1500s in fact my oxford dictionary specifically has the word casted in it. and states that casted is the old form of cast

  8. To some extent, my concerns about the word have alleviated.

  9. GTFOBigGovt says:

    Saying it’s “catching on” because a bunch of illiterate people own computers and type on the internet does not validate the word.

  10. Moltres_rider says:

    what about something like “Rydia casted •Shrink on him” like in casting a spell?

  11. Who Farted says:

    Why is it always the self-appointed grammar Nazis who turn out to be the most ignorant of how grammar works and what it actually is?
    Donna Wright (surely the irony isn’t lost) – What is creditials?
    Kirky007 – I suggest you enroll in an intro linguistics class at your local community college, after your USCIS orals with the americans. Or just look up ‘prescriptive’ and ‘descriptive’ in a dictionary. And a class on modernism. I don’t really care – just remember not to drive down the ‘wrong way’ on my road.
    balashi – Go fuck yourself. I can tell you that is the most apposite expression in English for shitheads like you.
    GTFOWhatever – Ditto. Given your ability to contract and expand your universe at whim, that shouldn’t be too hard an assignment. Just ask Donna Wright (who went to school and graduated with creditials).
    Class dismissed.

Speak Your Mind

advertisement
About Grammarist
Contact | Privacy policy | Home
© Copyright 2009-2014 Grammarist

Sign up for our mailing list

Sign up for our mailing list