Friday, 3 October 2008


(A has just emailed me to say that I had a breach of blog anonymity and inadvertently named him - I don't know: is it actually worth being secretive? I have a feeling I decided on it when I was in that frame of mind that assumes that all blogs get picked up for international syndication and then turned into best-selling novels. (This alternates with days when you know that only your Mum reads it.)

I think it was also that I could write about A's children, without their being identifiable (hmm - and does anyone but me use possessives with the gerund any more? Does anyone know what the question means? I'll bet more than one of my gentle readers does, actually).)


Anonymous said...

yes! i use possessives with the gerunds too, and didn't know how to feel about it recently when (i think it was) peter mandelson failed to (used oblique/accusative personal pronoun instead) ie me being not my being.... i was almost upset, actually... nothing to do with him except i had the impression he was sort of literate.

Beck said...

Hmm... I think he's the kind of person who always seeks to give the impression of being cleverer than he really is. (But these smarmy types generally get my hackles up.) Do you find there's the odd occasion when using a possessive does seem a bit too poncey, though?

penny maddrell said...

well, since leaving my comment (and then being very embarrassed that i had)i saw many opportunities for possessives with gerunds whizzing past and noticed that some of them i wanted to use the possessive with and some i didn't. unfortunately didn't write them down to find out what the two categories had in common, but suspect something could be identified, i think it's context not day of week or recent caffeine consumption etc !

Beck said...

I agree - there are times when it seems too prissy. Grammar is all about gut feel!

By the way, are you a Penny I've met in real life? (It's equally exciting if you are or aren't, I think: it's lovely to get comments!)