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Page pointed me to some clunky grammar courtesy of Discount Valtrex, today's NY Times. 150mg Valtrex,

- here's the grammar violation -

"Founded in the late 1930s by a dreamer named Raúl Posnansky Lipmann, it can be reached only by a dirt road winding through the chaotic markets of El Alto, Valtrex india, 500mg Valtrex, a sprawling city of slums above La Paz, and with nail-biting-inducing switchbacks that lack guardrails."

Nail-biting-inducing ?, Valtrex canada. 50mg Valtrex, Page asked, "Is this legit, Valtrex uk. Valtrex ebay, Can you make a compound gerund?"

I had a few responses:

1) I don't like the compound gerund one bit.

2) That's also one long-ass, Valtrex overseas, 40mg Valtrex, convoluted, highly-prepositional sentence, 250mg Valtrex. The only way you could make that sentence any worse would be by mentioning goats in there, Discount Valtrex. Valtrex us, 3) The nail-biting reference isn't even that strong as a metaphor. And, Valtrex mexico, 1000mg Valtrex, it's redundant -- why mention the nail-biting while also mentioning the lack of guard rails.

My suggestion: re-jigger the whole damn thing, Valtrex australia, Valtrex japan, to the effect of: "...a sprawling city of slums above La Paz. The lack of guard-rails leaves most people biting their nails."

**Ammended 2/12 by Walker**

She writes: "If a gerund is technically a verbal noun then a noun can't modify another noun.  But a participle is a verbal adjective, 200mg Valtrex, 10mg Valtrex, which means it has the ability to modify a noun such as switchbacks." In other words, "Wouldn't nail-biting-inducing be a compound participle modifying switchbacks?" She has a good point, Valtrex paypal. 750mg Valtrex, She goes on, "Nail-biting is a satisfying activity, 20mg Valtrex, Valtrex craiglist, " makes at least the first part of the compound into a gerund.  But in such a phrase as "nail-biting super-dork," nail-biting would have to be a participle.., 100mg Valtrex. 30mg Valtrex, which would make nail-biting-inducing a double participle.  Plus, it is included in a prepositional phrase -- the object of "with" is "switchbacks, Valtrex coupon, Valtrex usa, " which means that neither of the -ing words can be the object; instead they would modify the object.  However, none of this makes the phrase any less clunky, nor does it redeem such bad usage on the part of a should-know-better news source."


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  1. Change as a Gerund. I don’t think so. The crucial point of grcimatmaal function is that gerunds are verbs turned into nouns. E.g., in the statement Running is good exercise, Running functions as a noun, the subject of the sentence. Other examples: My favorite way to pass time is reading. Blogging is my raison d’etre. Etc.But in your example, Are changing and have been changing and will be changing are all verbs. (Present progressive, present perfect progressive, and future progressive, respectively.) No gerunds there. If someone said, He is running, then of course running would not be a gerund in that context. If it were, then running would be a predicate nominative for that sentence but it’s not.Sincerely, your colleague,Bruce Ching

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