Word Confusion: Hangar versus Hanger

Posted September 30, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

I can’t help it. If someone is going to write about a person coming out of the hanger, I get these weird mental images: he’s dazed and confused as he emerges from a giant amusement park ride shaped like a gigantic hanger or maybe it’s a hangman and he’s escaped the noose by walking out of the character’s mouth or…well, you get the idea.

Shifting my mental imagery away from the story, shifting any reader’s focus, is just not a good plan. After all the work you’ve done to craft your story, don’t let a heterographic word confusion to throw your reader.

As in stationary, consider the two as in hangar. No matter what happens, you will be walking (that a) whether it’s in or out of the hangar.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Hangar Hanger
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

“Airstrip and Hangar” is by Michael Dibb [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Image courtesy of Scraphacker — and do they have some fun ideas!

Oh, lordy, type hanger in Google images and go wild…!

Part of Grammar:
Verb, transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: hangars
Past tense or past participle: hangared
Gerund or present participle: hangaring

Plural: hangers
Large building with extensive floor area, typically for housing aircraft

Verb, transitive:
[Usually, be hangared] Place or store in a hangar

[In combination] A person who hangs something

Shaped piece of wood, plastic, or metal with a hook at the top, from which clothes may be hung in order to keep them in shape and free of creases

Something from which another thing hangs, such as a hook

[Historical] A short sword that hangs from a belt

[British] A wood on the side of a steep hill

We keep the jets in the hangar.

Jerry just came out of Hangar 17.

Verb, transitive:
The army choppers that were hangared out at Springs.

Jerry, that plane needs to be hangared.

a wallpaper hanger

coat hanger

I need to pick up some of those heavy duty wooden hangers.

Why do hangers seem to multiply overnight?

The jay appears in some of the large falls, or hangers, in Airedale.

The naked part of the hanger is now covered with thistles (Wright, 53).

History of the Word:
Late 17th century (in the sense of shelter from the French and probably from Germanic bases meaning hamlet and enclosure. Old English hangra is from hangian meaning hang.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

“MAWA 04430” by MAWA GmbH [CC BY-SA 2.0 de], via Wikimedia Commons and “Fairchild JK-1 outside Fairchild Airplanes hangar” by an unknown author and is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

2 responses to “Word Confusion: Hangar versus Hanger

  1. I can just see it.. the HANGER RIDE. I spent so much time researching airplanes that HANGAR and hanger are not my confusion…but I could see how it would happen . I am sharing this one, will make it to post office on Wednesday .