I had someone request hanged vs. hung because he was fed up with people using them improperly. It seems a lot of people don’t even realize that hanged is a word and has its own merits. So if you’re writing a paper where you think you are going to need to know the difference between hanged and hung, keep reading.
This seems to be the troublesome word. Most people think it’s simply a past tense form of “hang” and thus use it in every retrospect. That is not the case. Hung is proper when you’re not referring to the act of killing a person via “hanging.” For example, you can say “He hung the painting in the living room.” Notice that does not deal with a person’s death but rather a simple act of hanging.
So what’s “hanged?”
Remember how I said hung didn’t refer to killing someone through a hanging? Guess what this word does! You got it. Hanged is used only as the past tense form for killing someone through hanging. For example, “In the past, it was popular to have people hanged.” You would not use hung in this case. If you see in a newspaper that a journalist uses hung in this case, be sure to write a letter–because it would be wrong!