Hello, Miss Snark---
Several members of my writing group have been debating the merits of gerunds. (good dog...you do that for fun??)
Examples include the following
"You startled me," he said, regaining his balance.
Erin admired the curve of his jeans, taking in the worn fabric. (um...it's not the gerund that's the problemo here)
Pausing at the intersection, Ned realized he was lost.
Some are under the impression that this is an acceptable way to describe something. Others think that is a weak method.
What is your opinion? Or Killer Yap's?
Killer Yapp is of the opinion that the only phrases worth writing are: "Walk time!" "Do you want a cookie" and "Squirrel!". He does contribute to the editorial pages of the Times, but perhaps not in the way ol' Mr. Sulzberger had in mind.
I had to look up "gerund" cause I can never remember this stuff. Gerund: a form that is derived from a verb but functions as a noun, ending in -ing: ie 'do you mind my asking you'.
I don't read your work with a red pen and a grammar primer at my side. You can gerrymander your verbs and dangle your participles while nounging around in your adverbial form if you want; I do NOT care. You can even (gasp!) have fragments. Yes indeedy! And slang!
What I care about is that the writing zips along, the story is well told and you have control of what you are doing. If you use gerunds, or dangling participles or fragments or whatever, it's cause you did it on purpose, not cause you don't know any better. And yes, I can tell the difference. So, when you take in jeans, understand that "taking in" means a lot of things and not just sucking up the view with your eyeballs.