ring, rang, rung

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Tue May 9 23:50:51 UTC 2006

>At 2:59 PM -0400 5/9/06, sagehen wrote:
>>  >From Reynolds Price: /The good Priest's Son/ p. 64 --"Or so he felt,
>>as the
>>promising waves spread out and rung his head and shoulders like orchid leis
>>in a 1950s Hawaiian movie."
>>It never would occur to me to use "rung" to mean  encircled, but  is there
>>a dialect in which that is permissible? This might, of course just be one
>>of those absurd spell-checker artifacts.
>>A. Murie
>I've actually used this as a class exercise:  why is the past tense
>of the verb "to ring" meaning 'surround' RINGED rather than RANG?
>[or, I would assume, RUNG]  The point is analogous to the observation
>that the past tense of the denominal verb "grandstand" must be
>"grandstanded" rather than "grandstood", as Pinker discusses.  But
>now it turns out the "ring" fact may be wrong--like Pinker's point
>about how we have to say a batter "FLIED out" to left and not "FLEW
>out", when in fact many speakers, including sports announcers, do
>indeed say that the batter flew out to left.  So it's not too
>surprising if some (although I'm not among them) can talk about waves
>that rung (or rang) someone's head like leis.
>Do I hear SOTA?
 "Hamstringed" and "hanged" are other examples that have been nearly
totally obliterated by "hamstrung" & "hung,"  but this particular  use was
a new one on me.  Thus my question.  (Given the head & shoulders  in this
instance, it has an uncomfortably close association with "wrung his neck!")

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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