Date: Wed, 16 Oct 1996 20:26:21 -0400
From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU
Subject: Re: Hanged vs. hung
I believe the old prescriptivist rule is this:
All uses (transitive and intransitive) except one have hang - hung - hung.
The exception is with reference to execution by a rope around the neck,
which is (transitive Õthey hanged himū or intransitive Õhe hanged by the
neckū) hang - hanged - hanged.
You can tell right away it is a prescriptivist rule; it makes you memorize
stuff that sounds funny (kinda like 'whom'). A dead giveaway.
(You might want to check some usage books or even consult the advice
standard dictionaries give. Ain't y'all got none of them up there in St.
John's? I think I remember right though.)
My rule is much simpler (if you want ot know what a 55+ white, northern
Kentuckian says): hang - hung - hung for everything
I do one exception; if a hanging went off without a hitch, I have a
disinclination to say that the victim was 'well-hung.'
As part of my coursework for an upper-division course titled "The
Language," I am currently attempting to discover how the word _hang_ is
currently being used in standard English.
During my research, however, I've encountered one problem: What is the
way to write the transitive and intransitive simple past tense forms of the
verb _hang_? Is it _hanged_ or _hung_? I appreciate any help that anyone can
give me with this.
senior English major at St. John's University
Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]pilot.msu.edu