It be that day again

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Yes, it's Talk Like a Pirate Day. Here's David Morgan-Mar's Irregular Webcomic take on the event:

(Hat tip to Bruce Webster. For links to our previous postings on TLAPD, see Mark Liberman's Corsair posting, which appeared here while I was writing this posting.)

A note on grammatical terminology, about "gerund": for a fairly detailed discussion of the terminological point, look at my "[obscene gerund]" posting (some earlier discussions here and here). The point is that the inflectional form in the English progressive construction ("I am writing a piece on Talk Like a Pirate Day") goes by various names — present participle, PRP, gerund-participle, –ing form, form N — but "gerund" isn't one of them. Some descriptions of English distinguish "gerund" and "participle" uses of this form, but these descriptions use "participle" for the form in the progressive.

I realize it might seem absurd to complain about non-linguists' uses of technical terms from linguistics, but when they occur in talk specifically about language, I bridle. 


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