Is it now acceptable to use "hung" instead of "hanged" in the sense of execution?

I am starting to see more uses of “hanged” in news articles adn books written by academics. Peter Turchin in :"War and Peace and War " uses “hung”. It’s not a typo.

Is it now acceptable to use “hung” instead of “hanged” in the sense of execution?
eg. “He was hung” instead of “He was hanged”.

I look forward to your feedback.

Acceptable ? ?

By whom ? ?

Who died and made some dilettante our word God ? ?

The idea of words is to communicate, not to do so in a manner that is “acceptable” . . .

If a person was to say “I ain’t not never no way going to do that there thing no more again”, I would agree that perhaps his delivery could use a bit of tweaking, but he DID get the idea across, in other words, he communicated, which was his initial and sole intent . . .

English grammar is a moving target and often determined by common usage rather than any hard-and-fast rules. I’ve always understood “hung” to be something done to a picture, and “hanged” to be a form of execution. But it’s just due to traditional usage, and both forms have a historical basis. The Norman invaders were one of many such influences on the English language, among other things introducing the letters “z” and “g”, phasing out some Old English proclivities, and substituting “qu” for “cw”. If William the Conqueror had been turned back at Hastings, we would probably spell “queen” as “cwene” and think nothing of it. It’s all just historical accident.

As above, common usage rules.

But is all a bit silly.

You get sentenced to be executed by hanging, or “to be hung by the neck until dead”
Lynch mobs in old wild west movies tend to talk about “hangings” not hungings.
You will be hung from the scaffold. Whether you also hanged from the scaffold, of hanged with a scaffold is interesting. It is probably the latter.

One is the physical nature of the disportment of your corpse, the other the technicality of where the execution occurs.

Lots of old blues songs wouldn’t work if it were not “hung”.

Most grammarians still make a distinction.

If you say “He was sentenced to death and hanged,” I will understand what you are saying.

If you say “He was sentenced to death and hung,” I will understand what you are saying.

Not by me.

Sure, language is fluid, meaning depends on current usage, and it’s a really weird rule. But …

It’s “hanged”.

“Hanged” was originally the dominant form of the past participle in all sense, at least in dialects in the south of England; “hung” was found in northern dialects. Around about the sixteenth century “hung” began to migrate southwards, gradually supplanting “hanged” in most senses. But “hanged” clung on in more formal contexts, perhaps partly because it’s the version found in the King James Bible and, of course, in the well-established formula employed when sentencing a prisoner to death. And what is more formal than sentencing someone to death? So that context is pretty much the last dedoubt of “hanged”.

But last redoubts rarely endure for ever. At some time we should expect “hung” to eclipse “hanged” completely. And, if davidmich’s experience is shared by others, perhaps that time is now upon us.

Agreed, in that particular case. But one is more correct than the other, and there really is a point to English grammar. As I travel through cyberspace and encounter more and more illiterates whose attempts at elucidation straddle the boundary of incomprehensible, and require an inordinate amount of my own effort merely to render their incoherent ramblings into an argument that is wrong, I find that ungrammatical language is basically just an egregious form of rudeness. At its core, it says that you’d rather be lazy than help your fellow man understand what the hell you are saying.

I guess I have to do it…

“Bart! They said you was hung!”

“And they were right!”

This is not a grammatical issue at all, it one of usage, or, at the most, semantics.

But, in any case, the “rule” that one should use “hanged” in the case of an execution and “hung” in other cases is one of those really stupid rules made up by some pedant, and always honored more in the breach than in the observance: like to never split an infinitive, or not to use a preposition to end a sentence with. Use whichever sounds best to you.

I’d understand that too, but I would probably wonder how relevant the size of his genitalia is once he’s dead.

I usually make the distinction, and, in formal writing, I would correct instances of “hung” in the execution sense to “hanged,” but I do believe it’s a pointless and arbitrary distinction. I have never once come across an instance in which the use of “hung” for “hanged” caused any confusion (except for “clever” jokes that play specifically upon this grammatical distinction), and I do believe “hanged” is going to go the way of the dodo in English usage.

IMHO, it’s not a useful distinction, but, in formal writing or any situation that requires a formal diction of speech, use “hanged” just to keep the pedants at bay. Like I said, I make the distinction, but it’s primarily because it’s less trouble than dealing with some smart ass who “corrects” me.

Vicki Lawrence sang, “That’s the night that they hung an innocent man” in the #1 hit song “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia,” back in 1972.

But to be serious, although I don’t care which word wins, thanks to my linguistic OCD I have also noticed “hung” being used more than ever lately in mainstream sources. It looks like “hanged” is the new “sneaked.”

I also have noticed “hung” being used in the media more, but it always grates a little on me - I was taught it should be “hanged” when an execution is being discussed.

What is all this media you guys are listening to where guys are getting hanged? How many people does it actually happen to these days?

I don’t see how this thread made it more than 2 posts without this quote being quoted.
I also don’t see how anybody can even bring up this question, in light of this quote.

Google news search “hanged” and you’ll find plenty of examples just from the last couple weeks. Suicide is a big one.

Guys, guys, guys… The rule is really simple. If you’re quoting Blazing Saddles, use “hung”. If you’re quoting “The Wasteland”, use “hanged”.

If, not being in pedant mode, I read this - “Ariel Castro hanged himself in his cell Tuesday night.” or this “Ariel Castro hung himself in his cell Tuesday night.”, the former sounds better.

If I asked someone how he died, and you said, “he hung himself.” That would not sound ‘wrong’.

I too suspect that hanged is going the way of the dodo.

It is kind of interesting, though, to see the preference for the irregular “hung” vs the regular “hanged.” That is, instead of both senses of the word converging on “hanged,” they are converging on “hung.” I guess this isn’t unique. We see some of that happening in “sneaked/snuck,” with “sneaked” being the standard, but “snuck” rapidly gaining acceptance (and, frankly, “snuck” is the only past tense I use for “to sneak.” “Sneaked” just sounds weird to me.) One might think that with all the talk of “dumbing down” the language, the trend would be towards regularity, but apparently not necessarily.