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According to Wikipedia, the past tense (and past participle) of the verb to output is either output or outputted. Are these two forms entirely interchangeable? Or do they have certain nuance in meaning or context (e.g. in programming one of the forms is preferred)?

Instead of correct results, my program output/outputted garbage.

Which one should I choose? My logical sense tells me output is better because it derives from put, but intuitively I tend to use outputted when I speak and don't have time to think.

  • 6
    Possible duplicate of Inputted or input? – RegDwigнt Jul 24 '11 at 11:01
  • Wait. Isn't outputting something you do in golf? – GEdgar Jul 24 '11 at 13:18
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    I've always used 'output' myself. – Kye R Jul 24 '11 at 14:06
  • Instead of correct results, my program produced garbage. – mkennedy Jul 24 '11 at 16:34
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Dictionary.com endorses both output and outputted. Ngrams and a Google search (238K vs. 22K) yields evidence of a definite preference for output. (Note: is output instead of was output yields similar results)

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  • The question asks for the past tense of "output," instead of the past participle. The latter is used in passive voice. – L. F. Apr 21 at 2:19
  • @L.F. yes, but if the result does not match then this would be the only verb in existence to have -ed in past tense with no ending for past participle... – Antti Haapala Jul 21 at 8:32
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The word "output" is a noun, not a verb. I believe "outputting" is just an illiterate form of "to put out" or "to produce as output".

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