Good riddance, present participle!

According to this article at Bloomberg, the governor of Brasilia, Jose Roberto Arruda, just prohibited the use of the present participle in his government’s offices. The poor Portuguese present participle (no alliteration intended, honest!) – what has it ever done? Apparently the governor did this because of a perceived notion that government officials use the present participle to feign progress on official business. Perhaps they do – wouldn’t surprise me, actually – but come on! Banning a verb form isn’t likely to do a damn bit of good. Even if he can get people to do it – and that’s a huge if – it’s not the verb that’s the problem here. People will just find another linguistic solution for covering the lack of progress.

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One thought on “Good riddance, present participle!

  1. James Crippen October 7, 2007 / 2:38 am

    Many people in the Anglosphere would like to ban the passive, for similar reasons I suspect.

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