Posted: 08 Feb 2014 08:01 PM PST
What is a pastime?
It is an occupation that passes the time. Hobbies are pastimes. Attending sports events is a pastime. Cooking, woodworking, reading, and watching television are all pastimes. Most Americans have probably read thousands of times that baseball is “the national pastime.”
Yet, when I browse the web, I discover that thousands of web users do not know how to spell pastime:
The word pastime combines the verb pass and the noun time. Its earliest documentation in the OED is dated 1490 and is spelled as two words: passe tyme. Through the centuries, it has been spelled in different ways. I suppose it might have come to be spelled “pass time” or “pass-time” or “passtime,” but it didn’t. Its modern spelling is pastime. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to expect modern speakers to learn to spell it that way.
While they’re at it, they might make an effort to learn the difference between passed and past.
Passed is the past tense of the verb pass:
Past can be either a preposition, an adjective, or a noun: