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Thread: Shined or Shone?

  1. #1
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    Shined or Shone?

    I got a crit back from a critter and he had replaced "shone" with "shined", as in "I shined my flashlight into the darkness" instead of "I shone my torch into the..."

    Actually, he didn't replace torch, as I have decided to keep that word.

    I assume shined is what you'd use in America, but it just sounds wrong to me. My narrator uses English-English so she would use torch and shone, so I decided to leave it that way. The thing is, though, I am submitting it to American agents. Does shone sound as wrong to you as shined does to me? Wil they fling my ms against the wall? My reasoning is if a US publishe wants to change it al to American usage so be it, but my MC has to write in her own voice as long as she is in my hands.
    Do you say the sun shined or the sun shone?

  2. #2
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Popeyesays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aruna
    I got a crit back from a critter and he had replaced "shone" with "shined", as in "I shined my flashlight into the darkness" instead of "I shone my torch into the..."

    Actually, he didn't replace torch, as I have decided to keep that word.

    I assume shined is what you'd use in America, but it just sounds wrong to me. My narrator uses English-English so she would use torch and shone, so I decided to leave it that way. The thing is, though, I am submitting it to American agents. Does shone sound as wrong to you as shined does to me? Wil they fling my ms against the wall? My reasoning is if a US publishe wants to change it al to American usage so be it, but my MC has to write in her own voice as long as she is in my hands.
    Do you say the sun shined or the sun shone?
    "That night on my patrol I shined the flashlight into the bushes, just as I had shone it everynight before."

    I will admit that "shone" as the past perfect is a trifle archaic.

    " . . . just as I had shined it everynight before." is much more modern.

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  3. #3
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Popeyesays
    "That night on my patrol I shined the flashlight into the bushes, just as I had shone it everynight before."

    I will admit that "shone" as the past perfect is a trifle archaic.

    " . . . just as I had shined it everynight before." is much more modern.

    Regards,
    Scott
    I would use shone in both cases. It's not a case of modern or archaic, it's US vs British usage. I'm wondering about putting US usage into my MC's moputh even though it's unrealistic.

  4. #4
    California Dreaming Patricia's Avatar
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    "Shone." I have to use the word in my current WIP. Shone is correct in my context. And I'm US. "Shined" is as in: He shined his shoes.
    Last edited by Patricia; 07-16-2006 at 09:42 AM.
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  5. #5
    Reinventing Myself Scribhneoir's Avatar
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    I was taught that if it emits light it's shone and if it's made shiny it's shined. But I've heard it both ways -- "the sun shined" and "the sun shone." I think it's one of those irregular verbs that's on its way to becoming regular. Use what's right for your character.

  6. #6
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    I just googled it and saw there was this discussion just a while ago in this forum, and Medievalist explained that shone is intransitive, and shined is transitive. So perhaps I'm technically wrong, but shined still sounds wrong to me.
    I thought it was US usage because I just came across shined in a US published novel.
    Last edited by aruna; 07-16-2006 at 10:06 AM.

  7. #7
    Cultus Gopherus MacAllister SuperModerator Medievalist's Avatar
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    Shined "sounds" wrong to me as well Aruna, but technically, it should be shined.

    Now, since the fact that it sounds wrong would haunt me, even if it is grammatically correct, I'd revise to avoid it altogether

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  8. #8
    California Dreaming Patricia's Avatar
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    I will not dispute the board expert. But I will use shone...

    Here's a web reference http://www.thefreedictionary.com/shined
    Last edited by Patricia; 07-16-2006 at 09:58 AM.
    "But ultimately eloquence runs on a deeper current. It moves us with what it leaves unsaid, touching off echoes in what we already know from our reading, our religion and our heritage. Eloquence invites us to bring some part of ourselves to the transaction." - William Zinsser, On Writing Well

  9. #9
    Fig of authority
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    Webster's Second (big, authoritative American dictionary) allows only "shone" in your flashlight/torch sentence. It labels "shined" as archaic. However, it comments that "shined" is common for two other senses of "shine" used transitively. This dictionary was published in 1934 and might be too far out of date for reliable guidance if "shine" is indeed becoming a regular verb. The American Heritage Dict. is newer (I have the 1969 edition) but doesn't give enough detail about the two past-tense forms to help.

  10. #10
    Forced into cell phone life TsukiRyoko's Avatar
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    I think it's along the lines of you shined something, and it shone.
    You do the shining, but it does not.

    Also, something shiny could have shined, not shone.

    God, where's a sixth grade Language Art's teacher when you need one, eh? Hell, even a sixth grade student would It's sad to admit, but the last time I knew this stuff was back then- ever since, my grammar has slowly gone down the toilet.

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  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW newmod's Avatar
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    For what itīs worth, Iīm with Scribhneoir on this one, I think it should be shone in this instance, but usage of shined seems to be more and more common. Also my Collins dictionary agrees with what Scribhneoir was taught.

  12. #12
    resident curmudgeon
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    shone

    Shone. Editors are not perfect, and they often get things wrong.

  13. #13
    Seanachie johnnysannie's Avatar
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    Shone. Just because usage of "shined" is common doesn't make it gramatically correct.
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  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW newmod's Avatar
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    Yes itīs true that just because something is common it doesnīt make it correct (e.g. thereīs a few bottles of beer in the fridge - anyone who doesnīt say that?).

    I was just trying to say that itīs used more commonly than before. As we all know thereīs often a difference between "correct" language and what people actually use. Being aware of these differences is important for writing dialogue (in particular) and clearly some people were uncertain about what the score was with shone/shined. Similar thing with use of lay/lie in a post below.

    I think these posts are very useful for making people think about the words they use (misuse) and how other people use (misuse?) language.

    I cringe every time I think of David Beckham saying in an interview "We was ..." and my brother with weary/wary. Although that could be a pronunciation issue, Iīve never pressed him on the point!!!

    Take care all

  15. #15
    Writing well is the best revenge. Marlys's Avatar
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    I think some of it is due to American regional variation. Check out the usage note here on the difference between dived (Southern) and dove (Northern). From what I can tell, other verbs follow this divide--I'm from the North, and I know I'm more likely to use past tense forms such as shone and lit while other people I know say shined and lighted.

    For those keeping track, Webster's Seventh New Collegiate gives both shone and shined.

  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW
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    My current Webster's says either one with the indication that shone is more prevalent in Canadian and British use. As a practical matter, I say read it aloud using both choices and pick the one that sounds best to you and that best suits the place your character would have learned his or her English. Just be sure you are consistent in your usage.

  17. #17
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    Thanks to everyone who SHONE light on this matter.

  18. #18
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    I must admit 'shined' makes me shudder when it's used instead of 'shone'. Makes me think the writer is a juvenile still learning grammar. (Sorry if I upset anyone with that.)

    If he 'shined' his shoes, it's fine, but he shone his flashlight.

  19. #19
    has a lopsided smile. laurel29's Avatar
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    These discussions are great. I am trying to slog my was through some grammar books but I can only read so much before my eyes start to cross. The worst part is when I get to something in a book that I'm unsure of I can't ask it a question. I love this place. I learn more reading a few posts in this forum than spending a few hours sifting through a grammar book. In this case I admit to be a juvenile writer just learning grammar (so don't take me too seriously ) but I think shone sounds better. I thought it was interesting reading about the dived/dove thing as well. I would use dove instead of dived. (maybe that explains my preference for shone instead of shined?) I also never knew that the past tense of wear was once werede or that the past tense of spit was once spitede. I smile when I think of someone saying that. How would you pronounce either of them? Is the last e silent? I have a quick question for you all. When I think of the sentence - Thanks to everyone who SHONE light on this matter. - I would say SHED light, is that incorrect? Thank you again (all of you) for this fabulous section on grammar.

  20. #20
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    A shade (!) of meaning

    "Everyone who shed light" is correct. "Everyone who shone light" makes the illumination more deliberate.

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