Words on Writing: G

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An ing noun with verb qualities (a verbal noun). Some linguists define the gerund the other way around: a verb that acts as a noun (a nominal verb). Either way, in Lining clouds with silver is no easy job, the word lining is a gerund because it has both noun qualities (it’s the subject of the sentence) and verb qualities (you could replace it with the infinitive to line—a sure-fire test of gerundness).

Compare deverbal –ing noun.

For a discussion of alternatives to using gerunds in procedure titles, see the chapter “How To Do How-To: Watch Your Steps” in Word Up!

grammatical shift

See enallage.

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This is not a list of all words about writing—you’d be scrolling all day. These definitions evolved while I was writing Word Up! I enjoyed what I learned and wanted to share it.

Get the full glossary and more in the book: Word Up! How to Write Powerful Sentences and Paragraphs (And Everything You Build from Them)

Last modified: October 21, 2022