@antedeluvian: I hope we get Max to weigh in on this.
How could you stop me? As you know, I'm currently in the process of writing a book about grammar and punctuation -- I've just extracted a small nugget that covers this topic (click here). What we probably have with sunburnt vs sunburned is an irregular verb from the past evolving into a regular verb.
Re Sunburnt / Sunburned - Dictionary.com lists both, I guess it is a personal preference.
I hope we get Max to weigh in on this. Today there seems to be no difference as part of the evolution of English. I have a recollection that the -ed ending is the imperfect tense and the -t is the perfect tense, but maybe I have an imperfect memory! Actually, there is no maybe about it.
Na. Atypical Essex girl will know the difference between Sunburned and Suntanned.
Sunburned is what you get on the Costa DaSol on a 14 day package flight for sun, sea and sangria and possibly a bun in the oven.
Suntanned is what she gets before going to the Costa DaSol, down the high street tanning shop, where she is either spray painted to a copper/carrot colour or takes leathal does of UV from the tanning beds.
@Betajet....if you have ever seen outback Australia in the middle of a drought, Sunburnt is pretty close to the mark....
Re Sunburnt / Sunburned - Dictionary.com lists both, I guess it is a personal preference. I'd go with Sunburned myself, but then you say "burnt offerings".....
I used to go to England sometimes and find all the green a bit nauseating. I'd wake up in the plane on the way back and see brown Africa below and feel I was home. So when Dorothea Mackellar says "The wide brown land for me" it does strike a chord with me. But Australia is perhaps a little tooo brown sometimes.
In the USA, sunburned means having a painful, red burn while suntanned means having been turned a healthy-looking brown. My understanding is that the UK uses sunburned the way USA would use suntanned. For example, when Ian Fleming describes James Bond as sunburned, the writer doesn't mean our hero is as red as a lobster.
So which meaning is implied by the poem and book title?
The phrase "Down Under" describing Australia is well known in the USA, at least since Men at Work's song was released in 1982 in North America and became a hit. So I'm with David in thinking it's probably Puritanical publishing practices, since "down under" can be naughty in the USA.
[edit: I wrote this before David's reply above. "Great minds, etc."]