Throw your hat into the, uh, grass

  • “A dozen mustard-colored bunkhouses ringed a patchy sloping lawn.”

Yes, The New Yorker got it right, in Nick Paumgarten’s article about measles.

The bunkhouses ringed the lawn.

NOT: The bunkhouses rang the lawn.

NOT: The bunkhouses rung the lawn.

  • When you use ring as a verb, to mean making a ring around something, the past tense is indeed ringed.
  • When you use ring to mean making the sound of a bell, the past tense is rang. (They rang the bell.)
  • Rung is rong. It’s never the past tense. It only gets to be the participle. (“They have rung the bell.” “They had rung the bell.” “They were exhausted, having rung the bell throughout this entire post.”)

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