The gerund is the “-ing” form of a verb when used as a noun

You find this form a lot in topic titles and page headings for how-to directions (s.a. “Making your point” or “Filling in the form”).

I reject the use of “ing” phrases as a title or heading:  It’s kind of abstract, stuffy, and distances you from the action.

The change in approach also a bit of a trend these days. We are urged to use the active voice and present tense for the call to action. Some writers have actively lobbied for the “Death of the gerund in technical documentation

We’re trying an experiment with short-form verbs in headings. Instead of gerunds, we’re using just the verb stems. So, instead of “adding a widget” we’re saying “add a widget”. This looks like an imperative, but it’s not meant as such. It’s just a short form of the verb, and more likely to match what people will search for on the page …

— Sara Maddox, UX

Play this as ‘background music’ while you read the post. Just because.   …”ing”


The active verb also answers the“What do you want to do?” question directly. Answer: “Add a widget.

Disclaimer: I have been deeply, hopelessly in love with all three of the Roches since the late 70’s. 

Aside:  It’s (not) a Dumb Medium

We now have the pervasive technology and the accessible collateral to easily include movement and sound as part of the page. Most everything we publish on the interWeb can – and should – be truly multimedia.

I like the idea that my communication has words, pictures and sound.

Our ability to embed a YouTube video into a page is powerful – but still awkward. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could choreograph the presentation of music, voice and sound effects gracefully?



First posted on LinkedIn just a long old time ago.


Published on beBee: 01/02/2017 ; 0.3K Views, 7 Likes
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