Noun: The Gerunding

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Today's Irregular Webcomic:

According to CGEL, that should be "Noun: the Gerund-participling".

[Hat tip: Paul Bickart]


  1. Hala said,

    November 5, 2009 @ 11:19 am

    Well…the fact that all of them are made by the same company (except Magic) probably has something to do with it.

  2. Benjamin Zimmer said,

    November 5, 2009 @ 11:44 am

    And Magic was parodied as Havic: The Bothering.

  3. Jonathan Badger said,

    November 5, 2009 @ 12:06 pm

    Actually, the gerund version is actually a mutation from the original White Wolf snowclone — it was originally just 'Noun: The Noun" — as in "Vampire: The Masquerade", While "Magic: The Gathering" (actually a Wizards of the Coast and not a White Wolf product) was probably the first to use the gerund form, it has spread back to White Wolf, as shown in titles like "Hunter: The Reckoning" which the comic mentions.

  4. J. Goard said,

    November 5, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

    Check out the new South Park, you guys…

    It's repetitive and IMHO a bit boring overall, but the way semantic shift plays itself out in the school assembly is classic.

  5. uberVU - social comments said,

    November 5, 2009 @ 12:19 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by fleela: Noun: The Gerunding

  6. Mihai Pomarlan said,

    November 5, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

    Not to mention that the comic ticks off "noun-verbing", a peeve against which was commented upon here, and invents(?) gerunding for us lovers of hot grammar action.

    J. Goard, that was off-topic but those are my sentiments too. Apart from "It hits the fan" and the n-guy episode, that's the most linguistically-interested episode of SP ever.

  7. nemryn said,

    November 5, 2009 @ 1:32 pm

    Once again, verbing weirds language.

  8. Alex said,

    November 5, 2009 @ 5:15 pm

    Aren't they just trying to describe the word usage in these game titles? So shouldn't it be "Noun: the Gerund"?

    Also, I have another:

    "Language: the logging".


  9. John Lawler said,

    November 5, 2009 @ 5:57 pm

    Which brings up the empirical question:

    Does a Language Logger stir his coffee with his tongue?

  10. Trent said,

    November 5, 2009 @ 7:25 pm

    I would think a Language Logger is heady brew.

  11. dr pepper said,

    November 6, 2009 @ 1:20 am

    Some years back i was at my flgs (friendly local game store) reading the schedule board. At the top of the board someone had written:

    Game: The Subtitle.

  12. Eli Morris-Heft said,

    November 6, 2009 @ 10:38 am

    This is actually well-known and already recognized as a titling scheme amongst us White Wolf players. (Almost all of White Wolf's games are labeled thus: Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Reckoning, Mage: The Ascension, I could go on for about 15 more…)

    It's commonly referred to amongst us as Creature: The Evocative Noun. (As in: "Hey, what's White Wolf's next Creature: The Evocative Noun game? Changelings?")

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