Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: ring/rang/rung; ringed.

ring/rang/rung; ringed. Senses that relate to encircling take the regular “-ed” inflections in the past tense and past participle {the enemy ringed the encampment}. Senses that relate to sound — the more usual senses — take the irregular inflections “ring/rang/rung” {the telephone rang}. The past-participial “rung” is often misused as a simple-past verb — e.g.: “Rich Pilon is not known for his soft hands but his hard fists; he rung [read ‘rang’] up 291 penalty minutes last season.” Keith Gave, “Eastern Conference Preview,” Dallas Morning News, 4 Oct. 1998, at Q14. The opposite error — “rang” as a past-participial form in place of “rung” — is much more common in British English than in American: “He said the phone had rang [read ‘rung’] all day with messages from well-wishers — ‘even complete strangers.'” Michael Howie, “Home at Last to Hug from Mum and Dad,” Aberdeen Press & J., 22 July 2000, at 1. But it does appear in American sources — e.g.: “Abdin (2523) got up at [the count of] eight, after the bell had rang [read ‘rung’].” “It’s a Giant Party in Volunteer Land,” Buffalo News, 31 Jan. 1999, at D14. Language-Change Index — (1) “rung” misused for simple-past “rang”: Stage 1; (2) “rang” misused for past-participial “rung”: Stage 1. ——————– Quotation of the Day: “‘Some books,’ Mr. Maugham said with an urbanity that was not at all disconcerting, ‘are written in anguish, others just write themselves — and those are jolly to write.'” Harvey Breit, The Writer Observed 147 (1956).
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