I came across an error that launched a study of “speeded” vs. “sped.”
The pump cannot be speed up any further because it is at its maximum setting.
The present tense “speed” does not work here; you need a past participle because it is a passive voice = form of the verb “to be” + past participle.
Q: So what is the past participle of “speed”?
A: That depends.
It depends on whether the word “up” follows. If it does, use speeded; if it doesn’t, use sped.
Even though my turn signal was on, that car speeded up so I couldn’t change lanes.
That car sped by me so fast, it must have been going 90 mph.
Speed/Sped has a few cousins that follow the same rule for making the past simple and past participle:
Plead/Pled (although “pleaded” is acceptable and is actually used more often)
So, back to our original example: since the verb phrase contains the word “up,” we will use “speeded.”
The pump cannot be speeded up any further because it is at its maximum setting.
Profound Quote of the Day:
“We live in a moment of history where change is so speeded up that we begin to see the present only when it is already disappearing.”
– R. D. Laing, Scottish psychologist, 1927-1989