Friday, January 2, 2009

Bless our hearts and gerunds

Syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker writes: "Bloggers, bless their hearts, are becoming the new-old curmudgeons, thinking hard before writing, still insisting on complete sentences with more than 140 characters, clinging to their gerunds, participles and semicolons. Many are camouflaged renegades from (or appendages to) newspapers, not so much new breeds as Darwinian adapters to a new environment." (via Romenesko)

I keep forgetting what gerunds are, but I'm sure I cling to them.

I also note Parker's use of "bless their hearts," a possibly loaded Southernism. As a Virginia matron explained to Slate's Dahlia Lithwick: "If you want to sound like a real Virginian, you just say, 'Bless your heart' after every single sentence. Doesn't matter how mean it is! You just turn to your hairdresser and say, 'I hate this goddamn, stupid haircut, bless your heart,' and you're from Virginia!"