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    #1

    gerund

    a. “Sometimes I think the only thing separating American business from the mob's... is f..ing whacking somebody.”

    The sentence is from the TV series The Sopranos.
    (Season 1, episode 10)
    The sentence is quoted in the book: "The Sopranos and Philosophy: I Kill Therefore I Am", edited by Peter Vernezze and Vincent Patore, Chapter 8: 'Staying within the Family: Tony Soprano's Ethical Obligations' by Scott D. Wilson.

    Link:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=w...ge&q=" is fucking whacking somebody "&f=false

    My question is: Is the sentence technically correct?

    What separates the two is 'whacking somebody'? Or the fact that the latter do whack people?

    The way the gerund is used seems strange to me. I suppose it could be said, as it was said by a character and it did not raise any eyebrows... But it sounds strange to me.


    Many thanks

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: gerund

    It is not a very elegant sentence, but it is understandable. In my opinion the elements in the first sentence should be reordered. "Whacking somebody" separates mob business from American business.

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    #3

    Re: gerund

    Please note that a better title would have been whacking somebody.

    Extract from the Posting Guidelines:

    'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'


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    #4

    Re: gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by azz View Post
    What separates the two is 'whacking somebody'? Or the fact that the latter do whack people?
    The mob kill people- it's the only difference.

  2. Eckaslike's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: gerund

    I think "whacking somebody" serves as a punchline, which is probably why the speaker has used it at the end of the sentence. Whether or not you find it funny is definitely going to be a matter of your own sense of humour and personal taste.

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    #6

    Re: gerund

    If you're talking about "f..ing whacking somebody", I think "f...ing" is used as an adverb here.

    Not a teacher.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: gerund

    It could be called an adverb, but it might be just a filler word.

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    #8

    Re: gerund

    Whatever part of speech it is, students should be aware that it's a gratuitous obscenity, which can be omitted in most contexts.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 21-Aug-2015 at 12:06.

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    #9

    Re: gerund

    Quote Originally Posted by mawes12 View Post
    If you're talking about "f..ing whacking somebody", I think "f...ing" is used as an adverb here.
    Is f***ing whacking someone substantially different from whacking them? I think Mike's idea about it being an empty filler may be right. If business killed people and the mob tortured them first and then mutilated the corpses, you would have a case, but the idea is that business doesn't murder and the mob does, so I don't see it really functioning as an adverb here.

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