ring, rang, rung

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed May 10 00:41:07 UTC 2006

I'll be damned, A! I had no idea that there existed
"hamstring, hamstringed"! Now, the meaning of "hamstrung" is totally
transparent. Till now, I'd regarded "hamstrung" as one of those words like
"discombobulated," that more or less came out of nowhere. Of course, I've
been familiar with "hung" vs. "hanged" since at least the fourth grade, when
we stopped learning spelling and started
learning "English," a theretofore unknown dialect of Merican.


On 5/9/06, sagehen <sagehen at westelcom.com> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       sagehen <sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM>
> Subject:      Re: ring, rang, rung
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >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?
> >
> >larry
> >
> "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!")
> AM
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