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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Overheard at the Bookstore Bar

posted by on December 30 at 18:33 PM

Last night around 8 PM:

No, porn stars are hung. Dictators are hanged.

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I like it. It's a good way to help someone learn that hung is not the past tense of hang.

Posted by Matt from Denver | December 30, 2006 6:46 PM

DICKtators are hung.

Woohoo, look at me I'm 12.

Posted by monkey | December 30, 2006 6:57 PM

These cases are considered evidence for homonyms being different lexical items. For example, one says "Toronto Maple Leafs" rather than leaves, because one thinks of the Leafs as being different thing from the more leafy leaves. This suggests that the two senses of the word 'hang' are different lexical items, whereas the various forms of a word like 'get/got' may still be a single complicated lexical item.

Hung is actually the (irregular) past tense of the normal word hang, the one where you don't kill people.

so... uh... making love not war is in a roundabout way proven to be quite irregular.

Posted by John | December 30, 2006 7:25 PM

Really? So it's incorrect to say, for example, "when he got home he hung his coat in the closet?"

Posted by Violet_DaGrinder | December 30, 2006 7:27 PM

Violet, it's only incorrect if he put a noose around his coat and let it drop.

Posted by Neil | December 30, 2006 9:05 PM

Dammit, Dan. You and your journalism majors! It's so snotty in here now I'm tempted to hand out boxes of Mucinex. If I could afford the $16.28 per box and get all of your ID information that is.

Posted by upchuck (still dead) | December 30, 2006 9:21 PM

Dan, funny you should mention this as a young lady brought up this very subject this afternoon at my workplace. She thought that "Saddam Hussein was hung today" is correct, although the wording in the newspaper was "Saddam Hussein was hanged to death today". Both are correct although "hung" makes some people wonder what was meant by the word "hung". (You know, "Was he just hung today or was he hung yesterday,too?") And, "Will he still be hung tomorrow?"

Posted by larry clark | December 31, 2006 4:09 AM

Well, Larry, we don't know whether Saddam was hung or not, do we? Presumably the 72 virgins will have a report on that soon.

Posted by Sachi Wilson | December 31, 2006 9:24 AM

Hanged for people subjected to that form of execution, hung for anything else at the end of a rope.

Posted by Juliet Balcony | December 31, 2006 9:25 AM

How soon we've forgotten about "the stockings were hung by the chimney with care..." Pictures and paintings (especially of porno starz) are hung as well. However, the death sentence is: "you shall be hanged by the neck until dead"..." which was Saddam's fate. Evidently, they'd made sure his weight was correct before the procedure, because....well, otherwise it wouldn't make a pretty picture but would've been great for U-Tube.


Posted by THE DOGS MAY BARK | December 31, 2006 12:33 PM

Interestingly, we get the euphemism "hung" from hangings. Dead men get erections. I'll leave the rest to the imagination.

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