Friday, January 26, 2007

Technical Topic -- The Dreaded ING

The –ING form of the verb is namby-pamby. Doesn't matter whether it's a gerund or a participle, INGs are just sissy words.

Using –INGs as adjectives works fine.
Manic driving lessons ...
An obliging dwarf ...

--INGs also splice different sorts of time together. Nothing better.
Denton, humming cheerfully, lifted the ax.
We need the –ING to relate these two events. –ING shows they happened at the same time.

Both of those are good, necessary uses.

Everything else an –ING does is mostly crap.
Toss out the –ING,
find another tense.
Do it.

Not – John was stringing beads. But – John strung beads.
Not – Mary was killing time in the café. But – Mary killed time in the café.
Not– Bernard, casting aspersions, made himself ridiculous. But – Bernard cast aspersions and made himself ridiculous.
Not -- Umberto failed by trying to do too much. But – Umberto failed because he tried to do too much.
Not – Devon's planning led to disaster. But – Devon's plans led to disaster.

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