Dec 302010
 

Steven Axelrod, a former victim, er, I mean student, of the Shredder, sent me this link, no doubt because of my own obsession with listing and counting verbs and the quality of sentences.

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More Parsing Larsson: Verb Inventory

After yesterday’s post about Stieg Larsson, I got an itch to compare his verbs to some other writers’. Not that verbs are the biggest problem with Larsson’s writing. Far from it. Still, I was curious. So here is an inventory of verbs from a page of Larsson’s “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” a page of Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road,” and a page of Stephen King’s “Just After Sunset.”

I list these verbs in their base forms — i.e. “had been” and “were” are listed as “be.” Verbs forming independent clauses are in all caps. Verbs forming subordinate clauses are lowercase. Participial modifiers are not counted as verbs.

Larsson, page 414 — 18 sentences:

1. BE

2. BE

3. RECALL, HAVE, be

4. BE

5. UNDERSTAND

6. BE, FIND, find

7. BE, gnaw

8. NOTICE, take, keep

9. BE, BE, summarize

10. HAVE, BE, clear out, throw

11. THROW

12. BE, FIND

13. SEE, remove, deal with

14. SPEND, MISS, COME, HAVE

15. FIND, contain

16. GO, try, find

17. BE

18. DISCOVER, GO, USE

via Conjugate Visits: More Parsing Larsson: Verb Inventory.

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