verbing epiphany: februarying not februaried


Saturday a friend posted Coldplay's song "Lost" on FB. The lyrics immediately started in my head (and I continued to sing the song out loud and in my head for pretty much the rest of the day):
Just because I'm losing
Doesn't mean I'm lost
Doesn't mean I'll stop
Doesn't mean I'm across
Aside from the obviously emo slant of the song (it's a really good song to listen to when you feel like the whole world is against you), there's something about the lyrics that reaches a deeper part of my soul. There's something that makes it one of those songs that defines part of me.

And then all at once I realized what it was: the present participle wins.*

The speaker makes it clear the action is in the present tense (ongoing): I'm losing, but I'm not lost. To be lost, there would have to be a stop in the action and the action isn't stopping - life goes on. Until it doesn't. But even then, everything else goes on. Until it doesn't. But then, no one will be around to speak the past tense. So guess what? It's all right here, right now.

I write a lot about the here and now, so this isn't quite a new epiphany. It's a grammar epiphany, figuring out more of why I love gerunds* and verbing nouns.

Just because I'm Februarying doesn't mean I'm Februaried. Get it?

Good.
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* Quick grammar catch up, that means it is still happening. For the verb "to lose," "losing" is the present participle and "lost" is the past tense. For more grammar geekiness, see the link.

* You can also use the present participle as a gerund, which is what I like to do so much: Poeming is a gerund. And Souling. They aren't words that are usually verbed so making them into present participles by adding "ing" and then using that as a gerund is - I don't know. It speaks to me. I cannot take credit for it - "poeming" was introduced to me by a poet-friend.

Everything I really know about grammar I learned in German class. For reals. And I particularly love messing with grammar. Obvs.