Wednesday, February 8, 2012

hanged/hung: Entry for Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Originally these words were pretty much interchangeable, but “hanged” eventually came to be used pretty exclusively to mean “executed by hanging.” Does nervousness about the existence of an indelicate adjectival form of the word prompt people to avoid the correct word in such sentences as “Lady Wrothley saw to it that her ancestors’ portraits were properly hung”? Nevertheless, “hung” is correct except when capital punishment is being imposed or someone commits suicide.


  1. Great. Thank you :) Also came across the words,Flammable and Inflammable! Perhaps they have they been dealt with already? So confused that they mean the same thing :)) Why are they the same?

  2. "Flammable" and "inflammable" mean the same thing; they both mean "easy to burn." "Inflammable" is the original word, but then in the 1920s, the National Fire Protection Association started encouraging people to use the word "flammable" instead because they were worried people could mistakenly think "inflammable" meant "not flammable."