They took a shine to her

From last night’s Academy Award tweetstream:

My first thought, and also my second, was “What the hell ever happened to shone?” I duly consulted Grammarist, which says:

The verb shine has two main definitions: (1) to emit light, and (2) to cause to gleam by polishing. In its first sense, shine traditionally becomes shone in the past tense and as a past participle. In its second sense, shine is traditionally inflected shined. So, for example, we might say, “The sun shone brightly while I shined my shoes.”

Which is about the way I remembered things, until I ran smack-dab into this:

In 21st-century writing, however, the distinction is increasingly fuzzy, and shined is often used where shone would be the traditional inflection. Shone rarely appears in place of shined, though.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get my shoes shone.


  1. fillyjonk »

    29 February 2016 · 5:11 pm

    I rose this morning, but I neither shined nor shone.

  2. CGHill »

    29 February 2016 · 5:19 pm

    “Come back, Shone!”

    (working title for this piece, deemed a tad too obscure)

  3. fillyjonk »

    29 February 2016 · 7:18 pm

    Hee. (I got it, at least)

  4. CGHill »

    29 February 2016 · 8:39 pm

    Which is worth something, surely.

  5. McGehee »

    29 February 2016 · 9:23 pm

    (working title for this piece, deemed a tad too obscure)

    I think you may have given your readership too little credit.

    Even if not, in your shoes I woulda did it for the satisfaction of explaining it to some millennial.

  6. CGHill »

    29 February 2016 · 10:25 pm

    I hate explaining things.

    But yes, I probably should have gone with it.

  7. backwoods conservative »

    1 March 2016 · 12:49 am

    “Gracie didn’t tell jokes. She explained the jokes to me.”

    –George Burns

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