I have a sentence in a short story which wants to use 'stang' instead of 'stung'.

Dictionaries that include 'stang' say it is 'obsolete'. Would you as a reader accept it?

a shriek so fierce her throat stang with it

To my ear 'stung' doesn't have the same impact, but perhaps the 'obsolence' of stang is too distracting?

  • 2
    I've heard both "stung" and "stang" being used in John Lee Hooker's "Queen Bee". Seems like he uses "stang" when emphasising the word, around 2:10 youtube.com/watch?v=7DkzYTHBDqk – Tim Foster Nov 26 '18 at 13:56
  • Are you writing this story? Or is it one you're reading? Also, which variety of English is this? Which region do the speakers come from and what is their socioeconomic status? – Mitch Dec 26 '18 at 15:35
  • @Mitch A story I've written. The narrator is contemporary Canadian professional class. – Stephen Boston Dec 26 '18 at 17:09

The OED has no examples of stang as a verb since the mid-nineteenth century.

Closest to any modern use is the intransitive sense 3. However as the OED notes the examples are of north-country dialect.

  1. intransitive. To shoot or throb with pain. dialect. 1788 W. Marshall Provincialisms E. Yorks. in Rural Econ. Yorks. II. 355 To Stang, to shoot with pain. 1825 in J. T. Brockett Gloss. North Country Words 1856 P. Thompson Hist. & Antiq. Boston, Lincoln 725.
  • 2
    The Dictionary of the Scots Language has more recent citations, from the 1960s, and I certainly wouldn't blink at anyone using it here (Highlands) though I can't swear I've actually heard it. Wiktionary has it as the present participle, but if I was using it myself I'd use it as past participle in preference to 'stanged', but then I also say 'swang' rather than 'swung'. – Spagirl Nov 26 '18 at 14:39
  • Google's ngram shows much the same picture but I wonder how contemporary readers react. books.google.com/ngrams/… – Stephen Boston Nov 26 '18 at 16:09

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