Wednesday, 20 February 2013


I’d thought for some time about a post which would illustrate the glories of the English verb, and my friend Rog, in a tweet which indicates that he’s been thinking along similar lines, prompted me to have a go.  Of course, I may be completely misconstruing Rog’s motives here, in which case I shall offer him my sincere apologies.
Verbs are, and have been since the time of Chaucer, the bedrock of the language.  I’ve thought about that assertion since I wrote it (back in the mists of time before I’d had my first G&T), and I will be defending it against all rival contenders ( nouns, adverbs, pernicious adjectives).  It would be cowardly of me to do otherwise.
You will have noticed that I am going to run out of ideas very soon, in fact will have done so by the time I pour my next glass of Shiraz.  I was hoping to make this post more interesting than I have – I’ll try harder next time (I envisage a future in which I would be exploring the mysteries of mood, voice and person, and would have deciphered them all). 
There’s one missing.  If you’d read to the end of this, you’d have been able to work out which one.


  1. There are times when I do not miss teaching of the language English, as a student so quaintly phrased it...

  2. Loving the fact that pernicious is itself an adjective

  3. One missing? I would say there was a number missing.

  4. I'm sorry, Tim, I still don't understand this post. Ah, no, it's the future pluperfect. Of course.

  5. Dinah, there are times when I do miss the learning of it. And it was a dark and stormy night.
    Rog - and adjective is a noun. Isn't that cool. My source, btw, was here. I think I missed the past perfect progressive, but I can't be sure. And subjunctives are not tenses.
    AQ, don't worry, nor do I. I expect I will have been worrying about it all night by the morning.

  6. I know a joke about that but I may have forgotten it ... The Past, Present and Future go in to a bar together, it was tense.
    I think that was it.
    Is it funny?

  7. In my head, Zig, I've been expanding your joke into a long shaggy dog story, possibly directed by Tarantino or Leone. Hmm.