aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Turbid Verbiage

I know my way around writing through reading. My parents swore I started reading at three. I actually do remember these flash cards with a letter on one side and a picture on the other. Like A and Alligator. In my memory they hang suspended in mid-air in front of me, glowing. All magic.

I write for my inner ear, not because I learned how to parse and diagram a sentence. (Not that there's anything wrong with that.)

Lately I have to keep reminding myself that the weakest form on the verb is the -ing one. I don't know where I learned that, but I think it's true. Cheyenne was twisting frantically vs. Cheyenne twisted frantically. He was pressing his hand over her mouth vs. He pressed his hand over her mouth.

Another -ing form is when a verb is turned into a noun. Running is something I like to do. Administering CPR is difficult. This is called a gerund. I had to look it up.

Fifteen years ago, I remember meeting with a group of women at work who were unhappy with an article I had written about their department. I still remember one woman saying to the others, with mocking delight, "And here she's created a dangling gerund modifier." Knowing smiles and headshakes all around. Except from me. I sat there feeling stupid. Now I look up the term "dangling gerund modifier" on Google and get - nothing. Like the name of the first guy I ever kissed, the one who killed himself rather than go to prison for the kilo of coke the cops had found in trunk of his car. If you can't Google it, does it exist? Did it ever exist?

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