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Omar Karindu

Member Since: Sat May 17, 2008
Posts: 4,242
In Reply To

Subj: Language changes all by itself, usually.
Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 12:00:10 pm EST (Viewed 740 times)
Reply Subj: Question About Past Tense Word Usage
Posted: Wed Feb 10, 2010 at 08:52:20 am EST (Viewed 791 times)

    If people hang themselves, is it correct to say they "hanged" themselves or they "hung" themselves? (I always thought the correct phrase was "hung.")

"Hanged" was preferred for a long time for the specific act of hanging a person, while "hung" was usually used for, say, hanging things like pictures, etc. "Hanged" has largely disappeared from usage, though, so either is fine today.

    And if someone leaps, do you say "leaped" or "leapt?" ( I always thought the correct word was "leapt."

Again, in actual usage "leaped" seems to have triumphed. Both are correct, but "leapt" is rapidly becoming an archaism.

    And if someone creeps, do you say "creeped" or "crept?" (I always thought the correct word was "crept.)

"Crept," unlike "leapt," seems to be hanging on in common use Either is correct according to most modern authorities.

    Or, if someone had a dream, is it correct to say "She dreamed", or should it be "She dreamt..."?

See above. Both are correct in 21st century usage.

    But sometimes when I hear people talking about the past tenses of words, they will use "hanged," "leaped", "dreamed," etc.

    Or, is either version of the past tense acceptable?

Most of the time, either is. "Hanged" is the oddball in your list.

- Omar Karindu
"For your information, I don't have an ego. My Facebook photo is a landscape."
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