The bizarre syntax of 'sexiest man alive'
Who talks like this?

Arika Okrent has a great article about what’s going on with the syntax of “sexiest man alive”. 

The Sexiest Man Blond? The Sexiest Man Canadian? …

Why is “alive” the only adjective that fits in this construction? Actually, there is a small set of other adjectives that also work here, and the thing they have in common is etymological history. Alive originated in the Old English phrase on life. It was a prepositional phrase, one that got reanalyzed along the way into a single word, an adjective.

The other phrases that underwent this change are on flote, an slæpe, and on waecnan. In their current forms, they work beautifully in the “Sexiest Man” construction. Really, some magazine should judge a winner for these categories too:

“Sexiest Man Afloat!”
“Sexiest Man Asleep!”
“Sexiest Man Awake!”

Adrift, formed on analogy with afloat also works, as do a few other words where the initial a- can be traced back to the meaning “on”: afire, aflame, ablaze

Do you like hot guys? Well, you’re gonna love the Sexiest Man Ablaze!

(Read the rest.) 

Another interesting property of a- adjectives that reminds us of their origins as prepositional phrases is that they can only be used in predicative, not attributive position. So you can say “the man is alive/afloat/asleep/awake/aflame” but not “*the alive/afloat/asleep/aflame man” (of course, you can express the same meaning with a gerundive adjective, as in “the living/floating/sleeping/flaming man”). 

My favourite part of that Buzzfeed shit was about ‘nigga’. Like 'Ugh, other Black people are so stupid and horrible for wanting to use that word.’

Well, lemme tell yall, I’m a sociolinguist specialising in AAVE and writing my Master’s Thesis on why nigga happened and its social implication.

AAVE is known for semantic bleaching of obscene words so that they can be reappropriated for different purposes. This is why, for example, we add -ass to the end of things, including adjectives and gerunds, to make them more emphatic (e.g. Her long hair havin-ass took 20 minutes to get ready). This is also why we have certain social contexts where it’s okay to use 'bitch’ and 'ho’ and some where it isn’t (à la @katblaque, I thought about this from your video). This has its roots in West Africa, where obscenity is more context based and less lexically linked (a word isn’t always intrinsically a cuss word, but who, how and when someone says it may make it offensive).

It wasn’t until the post-Civil War era when assimilationist Black people decided that using words the white man found offensive was not going to help the cause. Sadly, this ideology persists today.

Nigga has also undergone semantic bleaching, but in a much different way. Black people calling each other nigga is not new, and in fact may even date to slavery. However, in the Africanist way, rarely have Black people as a group taken offence to intragroup usage of the word. There have been individuals who have (and sometimes, these individuals are the most outspoken), but generally it has had a very neutral tone in the AAVE and Black world. However, as recently as the late 80’s and early 90’s the usage of nigga has been politicised, especially through the use of early hip hop, where it was again given new meaning. While nigga had always had nuances of negative, neutral and positive lexical meanings, this was when it was explicity stated on a mainstream stage that Black people can say nigga, white people cannot, and it is because of the usurpation of power. Black power does not entail antiwhiteness, but it does include usurping power from the institution of whiteness. This happens at the linguistic level as much as anywhere else. And in the same way that the LGBTQIA community decided to reclaim 'Queer’, so did the Black community choose to reclaim 'nigga’. Neither. Of course, was a unanimous decision, but they were both generally accepted decisions. What’s more, Black people added an African twist to their reclamation: just as in Africa words are vulgarised by context, so was nigga. In this case, nigga is vulgarised when spoken by a non-Black person.

The social implication then is an anti-assimilationist and Africanist approach to intragroup semantics. It demonstrated unity, power and linguistic pride in the African American speech tradition.

So, @buzzfeed, if you don’t want to participate, that’s fine. Every Black person is allowed to be individual and have their own opinions. But I and many other Black linguists have been pro- (or at least neutral-)nigga for some time. Just wanted to clear it all up for yall.


While we’re on Stone Palm, here’s some later iterations: a print I made in 2009 of Gerund and Infin, and a page from Order of Tales that represented an effort to kind of redesign it to fit that comic’s aesthetic.

continually crazy to re-remember how much Overside stuff I’ve made……..

I like Gerund! It’s funny to see how much his body shape changed from this starting point; he becomes a lot less clunky and more organic-looking. I like how Rice Boy and Gerund work as visual counterpoints to one another… At one point I had a much more Wizard of Oz-ish image of the story in my head, where several travelers would join Rice Boy along the way.

A Gerund (pronounced JER und) is the form of a verb that ends in “ing” in English. No other Horneds are named in Rice Boy, but their names in Order of Tales are all similarly extracted from grammatical terminology.

Translating Gerund Into Russian

Russian lacks gerund as a grammatical phenomenon, thus translating gerund into Russian can be tricky. Here are some options for you to choose:

  • Noun (normally, derived from a corresponding verb): Learning languages can be frustrating - Изучение языков может обескураживать (расстраивать).

  • Verb in the infinitive form: You have an aptitude for learning languages – У тебя способность изучать языки.

  • Personal Verb: I saw her standing there a road – Я видел, как она стояла там.
  • Adverbial participle (деепричастие): She watched the sunset smoking her cigar - Она смотрела на закат, покуривая сигару.

failtuna  asked:

Is it, "do you mind MY asking" or "do you mind ME asking" ?

Great question.

“Do you mind my asking” is correct. It’s formal—and it correctly uses asking as a gerund.

"Do you mind me asking” is informal, but people are much more likely to use this in everyday conversations.

If you’re going to write it (e.g., in an email to a teacher or professor), use “Do you mind my asking”; if you’re only concerned about using it in conversations, use either.

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Gerundio. Estar+gerundio.

Hello, today i’m really like revising my spanish :) and watching Everybody loves Raymond, american great sitcom.

Now, i’d like to show you a special form of verb which name is gerundio. Actually, it’s (or almost) used in the same way which is gerund (verb+ing-ending).

So you guys should now the best, right?



first group of verbs - with ar-ending - change ar into ando, ejemplo:

amar - amando

cocinar - cocinando

NOTE: There are no irregular gerunds in this group, hurray!


second and third group - with er- and ir-ending - change their ending into iendo, ejemplo:

comer - comiendo

ver -viendo


BUT some of these verbs are irregular. Some of them you have to just learn, like this:

podir - pudiendo

dormir - durmiendo

morir - muriendo


Some conjugate in scheme.

In third group of verbs (ir) when we have letter ’e’ before ’ir’ we change it into ’i’:

mentir - mintiendo

reir - riendo

servir - sirviendoo

decir - diciendo

venir - viniendo

preferir - prefiriendo

seguir - siguiendo


There are also verbs which could be really strange while conjugating normally, because of lack of consonant. That’s why they are quite changed:

leer - leyendo

contruir - construyendo

oir - oyendo

traer - trayendo

ir - yendo

NOTE: Form ’yendo’ is really rarely used. Don’t try to use it with estar+gerundio (sometimes called even el presente continuo). When you want to say I’m going to work say just voy a trabajo).


Estar+gerundio is kind of phrase which you can compare to present continuous.

Firstly, you have to conjugate verb estar in right person, then add gerund and here you have a sentence!


Yo estoy

Tú estás

Él está

Nosotros estamos

Vosotros estáis

Ellos están

(Remember about accents!)


Later you just add gerund and that’s all!

Estoy escribiendo una redacción - I’m writting a composition

Estamos jugando al fútbol - We’re playing soccer


When we have verbs like acostarse, peinarse etc. (i don’t even know how they’re named in english) we have to put this ending se somewhere. We can do it in either way:

1º - in the beginning of the sentence, like:

Me estoy lavando.

2º - in the end:

Estoy duchándome.

NOTE: Here we have to add accent above a place where it’s accented without me/te/se etc.(second syllabe from the end).


In question, a person (or people) are putting in the end of sentence:

¿Dónde están estudiando tus amigos?

¿Qué están dibujando los niños?


Los mercadores temporales which we can use:

últimamente - lately, recently

desde hace unos días - last days

estas últimas dos semanas - last two weeks


Madre mía, so many to write about! I hope it’s all. If you have any questions, write along!

Small note on verbs

I just wanted to give a small lesson today to clarify a few things.

In French, when we use a verb in its present tense it can mean three things. Let’s use the verb “parler”, to talk, as an example. You can use a verb in the present tense to mean:

  • I talk.
  • I do talk.
  • I am talking.

If you want to say any of those three things, you can use the same phrase; “je parle.” There’s no need to complicate things by trying to combine “être” (which you all should know means “to be”) with other verbs.

I hadn’t clarified that and I thought it was important to know so I figured I’d just do this little lesson.

Confused? Message me!

Cas losing track of time in the garden: pulling weeds, separating his perennials, sowing seeds in a cold frame. Taking a long time to study their small yard, imagining what it will look like when everything is out of the ground and in bloom. The textures, heights, colors. Dean watching him through the window of their two-bedroom house, or through the open door at the back of the garage. Buying him vases of various sizes and colors at yard sales. Marching out with a glass of water every hour and waiting until Cas drinks it, bribing him onto the porch for burgers when the sun ducks behind the treeline, and eating an entire salad without complaint because Cas grew a whole damn salad.


(Сохраняем, пригодится 100%!)

avoid - избегать

admit - соглашаться

consider - считать, полагать, обсуждать

dislike - не нравиться

deny - отрицать

delay - откладывать

enjoy - любить, наслаждаться

escape - избежать, спастись, вырваться

excuse - извиняться

finish - заканчивать

fancy - вображать; думать; любить

imagine - воображать

involve - вовлекать во что-то; касаться, затрагивать

keep - продолжать делать что-то

mind - возражать, иметь что-то против

mention - упоминать

postpone - откладывать

practise - практиковаться, тренироваться

resume - возобновить, продолжить

regret - сожалеть

report - сообщать

risk - рисковать

require - требовать, нуждаться

suggest - предлагать, советовать

stop - прекращать что-то

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Hello world, I’m R.B., and as you can probably gather from the picture above, I greatly enjoy video games.

A standard hobby for young males age 18-to-40 everywhere, to be sure. But the issue has become that while I love discussing, arguing about, and buying video games, I’ve mostly neglected to do one particular gerund.

Playing video games.

It started in college when I was finally granted access to relative independence and sizable amounts of disposable income. As I moved on into the adult world, I gained more freedom and more money, but less time to play games. Gone were the days where I could come home from school, watch Disney’s afternoon cartoon block, and then play for hours on my Super Nintendo.

Over the past few years, I accumulated and purchased a lot of systems and a lot of games to go with them. I got good at finding discounts thanks to sites like Cheap Ass Gamer. In fact, I got too good. And now I have too many games.

Thankfully, came to the rescue and let me upload a list of my game library. Then I saw the end result, which I’ve placed above.

As of this writing, I have 104 unfinished video games across 17 different platforms. 

In order to cease wallowing in despair, I have decided to make a sincere effort to finish every single one. However, I’m a picky fellow, so I’m not going to finish every game. Each game that I play will be completed, dropped, or backlogged again. I’ll drop games that fail to grab my interest and/or that I don’t see myself finishing.

Here are some rules I plan to follow:

1. I cannot buy a new game until I have finished an old one.

2. No more than 5 games being played at one time. (Beaten/Completed games are an exception)

3. If a game is nearly impossible to beat, I will play it daily for one week. If I haven’t made good progress, I will either drop the game or return it to the backlog.

So look forward to several posts per week as I try to plow through my backlog and keep myself from drowning. We’re in this together, so please be sure to call my loved ones in case I don’t make it.

- R.B.

As Dense As a Rock(Language Teaching Terminology): As Dense As a Rock(Language Teaching Terminology): Gerund


A verb that takes the place of a noun in a sentence

What Does That Mean?

It can used the same way you use a noun, the word’s exact appearance depending on language standards (English using verbs ending with ‘–ing’ as its Gerund). You’ll hear its use when someone says something like “Training is hard work” after practicing their 3 point shot at the gym or “Editing gets kinda lonely, sometimes” after they get off of a long day of working on transcripts and talk to their friend. When a verb is used as an adjective or adverb-like in ‘The Running Man’ or ‘A Broken Education System’- it’s called a Participle, and when it appears in its plain form-like when someone’s called ‘The One to Beat’ it’s called an Infinitive. 

EX: To gaze upon the shining red jewel is like gazing into the face of your chosen deity of worship. I should know, I got the jewel back at my pad waiting to find a home with some kindly rich nutjob.