>Gerundizing in Post Postmodernism


The latest trend in post postmodern language is gerundizing, or making a noun a verb. Julie’s example was, “Hey are you guys Bostoning this weekend?”

But you don’t have to gerundize necessarily – the larger trend is that nouns are becoming verbs. Take the word “reference.”  It is gaining momentum as a verb instead of a noun. How often do you hear people talk about the reference section in the library. Forget the word “cite.”

Indeed, gerundizing makes English that much easier. As Thomas Jefferson said, why use two words when one will do?

It is also popular to shuffle between tenses and styles, not necessarily incorporating and alluding to different brands, people and ideas, but instead to different styles in order to express different trains of thought. Let’s say a character wants to experiment with drugs. It’s very effective for a post postmodern writer to imitate the exploration of subjectivity used by modernist writers to simulate his experience while high.

Or perhaps the protagonist is remembering his youth: a self-conscious remembrance in the postmodern style would do well in such an occasion. Post postmodern writers have all this history from which to borrow, and as such, can move fluidly from one style to the other.  

Daniel Adler

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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