… at least in some parts of the country. In other parts, it sprang some time ago. Or is it “sprung some time ago”?
Spring the verb behaves in much the same way as spring the season — irregularly. Regular verbs march in lockstep, all forming their simple past tense by tacking on the easily remembered “ed” at the end. Some examples are laugh (laughed), cough (coughed) and shovel (shoveled).
But irregular verbs are misfits. They march to the beat of their own drum, using whatever past-tense form they feel like. Examples include drink (drank), begin (began) and choose (chose). The lack of any rhyme or reason for their behavior makes application of a rule difficult. That’s why we get questions like “Is it sprang or sprung?”