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Part 4: The Problem With (English) Verb (v1.4)

So, this is where the ramifications of the past few parts of my blog really start to appear, and have a tangible impact upon how we perceive and describe the language. Too much is swept under the word verb at the minute for it to be what we need it to be

Darren Tomlyn, Blogger

January 28, 2016

39 Min Read

A Study Of Games As A Matter Of Linguistics

Section 1: The Problem With Our Understanding Of The Meaning(s) Of The Word* Game

Part 4: The Problem With (English) Verb


So, this is where the ramifications of the past few parts of my blog really start to appear. It’s also where things get a little trickier, because of the distinct effects of the differences, not just of basic concept, but of related syntactic application.

V1.2  As expected, there is more syntactic context required in relation what we currently perceive as 'prepositions', and I forgot about one specific syntactic application for '-ing' type things of happening.  I have also added '-s'-type things of happening now, too.  (E.g. runs/walks.)

V1.3 Finally added context for such different types of 'past-tense' things of happening, (and therefore regular/irregular 'verbs')

V1.4 Added an extra part relating to applications with relative time and space in relation to an object.

Recap/additional Context

So, in the previous parts of my blog, I have explained how language uses rules of applied semantics, to cause rules of applied syntactics, in order to help enable greater consistency in the transfer of information represented by one entity for another, as basic means of communication.

Central to this are two things:

  1. A functional taxonomic hierarchy of basic concepts, that all pieces of information represented as part of a language exist within, that allows such information to be recognised and understood in relation to each other, (and then taught and described as such).

  2. A collection of basic manners of use, that describe all the syntactic applications such representations of information can have, because of the concept the information (being represented) belongs to.


This means that every individual basic means of communication needs to be perceived, recognised, described and taught in relation to its basic concept and its basic manner of use.

But, as I’ve said before, our current perception of language itself, in general, is based upon a simplistic recognition of its syntactic application and use, not its semantic concepts and meaning – it’s based on the act of deriving its meaning from studying its syntactic use, without recognising the context in which to do so that is provided by its functional taxonomic hierarchy (of basic concepts).

This is the reason why we can recognise and understand noun and adjective as being basic manners of use, without fully recognising and understanding all of the basic concepts that cause them, and any other differences in syntactic application they have – we currently think that such a single, simple manner of use is all that’s required to describe them – (that syntactic use and semantic meaning are one and the same, when that has never been, and can never truly be, the case).

And so all of the additional concepts (to things) that cause the current manner of use noun, (which is still a little too simplistic, though not as bad as adjective), at this time, simply, for all intents of purposes, do not exist, along with any additional differences in syntactic application they may have.  (Which is the basic cause of most of the problems we have with our understanding of the word game, and is the main issue I am slowly working towards.)

And so all of the different types of properties all of these concepts can have, and used in combination are not fully recognised, taught and described consistently, either, along wither their applicable manners of use – often merely mentioned in passing from the basic type of property they are derived from, which needs to be fixed, since if we’re not consistent with what a basic concept is, then no language can ever truly be fully understood at all.

The nature of these problems is fairly simple, even if the specific solutions/answers are not.

This changes somewhat, and becomes far more complex, when it comes to recognising and understanding the manner of use we call verb and its place in the English language as being caused by the basic concept things of happening.

Note: It’s taken me quite a while to figure out how best to fit everything here together based on semantics, rather than mere syntactics (as at present) – though if anyone has any problems with my descriptions/labels, (when applicable – I haven’t a clue what to call most of the required basic manners of use) - the comments section is below ;)


The Basic Problem With Verb

How and why can we possibly have a problem with the manner of use we call verb?

It’s something we recognise as being consistent for language in general, and therefore integral to the basic application of such a thing we describe every individual language as and by.  We use it in such a fundamental manner to help us understand the differences and similarities between the basic functionality, (especially the rules of syntactics), of such different languages.

And yet it’s a problem, because it’s a basic symptom of the underlying problem we have with our perception, description and teaching of language in general:

Our understanding of verb is based upon the perception of how language is used, not what (information) it is being used to represent – especially in regards to the basic concepts that such individual pieces of information must belong to - and that is where the problems lie.

The whole point about language is to use fundamental rules of applied semantics (content) – of basic concepts - to govern rules of applied syntactics (grammar) – of manners of use – to enable greater consistency in communication, involving/using individual basic means of communication.

As it is currently recognised, taught and described, verb does not fit in any consistent way within the framework we’ve created by using such languages, of either the basic manners of use, or in relation to a basic concept.

Although I have so far described verb in relation to things of happening, as an individual basic means of grammar, which is correct and consistent, such an answer does not exist in isolation, and needs further explanation, because our current understanding is not fully consistent with this.

Why not?

Because our current understanding of verb is far too broad and inclusive to fit within the basic framework of both applied syntactics and semantics we’ve created, and ends up being inconsistent with – denying - the existence of parts of the English language that already exist, in common use, yet are not fully (if at all) recognised and understood to exist for this very reason, even as we try and describe them for what they are.

We’re currently trying to describe too many different concepts and applications as being similar, if not the same, by labelling them as and by the same manner of use.  That such concepts and applications are related does not mean they are the same thing, and so the nature of such differences matter far more than are currently recognised.

That there are differences is recognised and understood, but they are still thrown under the banner of verb, often being described in relation to different types of verb instead.  This is not consistent with verb being a single, basic manner of use at all – a consistent list of applications related to (as caused by) at least one basic concept.  The only thing that types of verb is suitable to describe, are the different individual applications that verb itself represents, but that is rarely what we use types of verb to describe.

There are four main problems with our current perception of verb and the concepts that are currently related to it:

  1. Not all things of happening share exactly the same list of syntactic applications.

  2. Not all things of happening including as they are currently perceived share all syntactic applications that must be described as verb.

  3. Not all things of happening as they are currently perceived share the same semantic relationships with those that (help) govern the identity of this basic concept.

  4. Some things of happening, including as they are currently perceived, are syntactically applied in a manner that verb does not (cannot) describe. (How is this possible? Read on and you’ll find out…)


All of these problems exist because of a very simple and fundamental failure of linguistics – of our past and current recognition and study of (this) language – of failing to recognise differences in syntactic application that can and must be recognised as being caused by differences in semantic meaning/concept.  Such a fundamental failure can only mean that our recognition of both has been, and is still currently, flawed.  That this then causes further problems in recognising basic concepts and manners of use that are intrinsic in the recognition and understanding of language, specifically, should be unsurprising.

It should therefore be truly and fully unsurprising why we have problems recognising and understanding language, communication and semiosis in relation to each other at this time…


The Definition Of Verb

So, with all that in mind, exactly what are the problems we have, what symptoms do they cause, and how to we solve them?

The most fundamental problem is in recognising that verb merely describes a basic manner of use, and any use of verb to represent any basic concept (in its place) is completely misguided – even if there is (or should be) only one unique concept that causes such a manner of use.

So people therefore often use verb in place of things of happening, (or any, lesser equivalent), (or noun/adjective/adverb in place of the different concepts they can represent), and therefore helps to cause confusion between the different concepts that verb is currently attempting to be related to, so it shouldn’t be too surprising as to why their recognition is a problem.

So how do we only recognise verb in relation to things of happening as a basic concept, and no others?  How do we consistently split such concepts and their basic manners of use apart?

By recognising only those syntactic applications that are applicable to such a concept as a whole, and no others.  That this matter is slightly more involved and complex than that should hopefully not be surprising, but this is a problem affecting far more than just our understanding of verb and things of happening.

Just like with properties of things, there are multiple types of things of happening, that are both different in semantic identity, application in the taxonomic hierarchy and their syntactic application.  Also, as with properties of things/adjective, our current understanding of verb is far too simplistic.  As with properties of things, however, there are some single applications that all such concepts share.

So, the types of things of happening, are as follows, as mentioned before.  As with properties of things, they are also based around, and mostly related to, a single, basic property of its type, for example:

  1. Swim (basic)

  2. Swam*

  3. Swum*

  4. Swimming (continuous)

  5. Swims (3rd party singular)

Note: The differences in concept represented here* are not always reflected in the representations used.  Jumped/walked etc. are used for both.  We currently label these based on the representations, as regular or irregular (verbs) if they don't, or do, change to reflect such differences in concept.  Obviously such a consideration is only consistent with the rules of English, but not language, since those rules are about recognising such differences in concept, rather than not.  Labelling such differences in concept overall, as being matters of syntactics (e.g. verb) or such representations (e.g. different participles) are not consistent with the rules of content that they must truly be defined as and by.

So what are the syntactic applications that things of happening cause, as a whole?  And are there any applications that verb describes that are not caused by all of these types?

Unfortunately, even beginning to answer this problem, immediately demonstrates why we have so many problems describing (the English) language currently, and then demonstrates even further problems with our current understanding of English, moving beyond that.

So we need to take such applications one at a time…

  1. Used in combination with nouns/pronouns, (all concepts that are currently perceived as causing nouns are applicable, even if this label is not fully consistent), as both the subject and/or object of verb/things of happening.

Note: I'm not sure that all the concepts that are/would currently be perceived as causing 'noun' are all used as objects of verbs/things of happening.  Further limitations and differences in syntactic applications of such concepts, and the relationship with noun itself, however, may (should/will) fix this problem - in a later part.

You may notice that this single application appears to be similar to such an application that is represented by adjective, but it has one slight difference - it only mentions being used in combination, not in relation.  Why? This is a deliberate choice, and one that should be taken, in my opinion, to split things of happening into multiple types, based on differences in syntactic application.  Such differences must be recognised as being caused by different basic concepts, or they cannot truly exist within the rules of language.

There is one slight difference between how things of happening can be applied in such a manner, in that some things of happening require an object, either used in combination, or referring to one that has been previously mentioned.  A distinction can therefore be made between act and interact as sub-types of things of happeningSituate and relate, in my opinion, can then be used to describe the other main sub-types of things of happening there are.

Examples of such a basic application:

  • I ran (to the shop)

  • The car stopped

  • The fish tank has a leak

However, (only) two types of thing of happening can be further applied in relation to nouns as its subject and object, too:

  • I am running (to the shop)

  • The car is stopping

  • The fish tank is leaking

  • The river was swum by the fox

The fact that not all types of things of happening are applied in this manner, shows that they cannot all be considered as having the same manner of use.

This application is far more similar to that caused by properties used in combination with (what we perceive as) nouns, and so it appears that these types of thing of happening and some properties of things etc. share an individual syntactic application.  (I was hot/running/ran (over))

The immediate ramifications of this should be obvious:

It is impossible to describe individual basic means of communication based purely on such individual syntactic applications!

We use the same basic means of communication in many different ways because of the individual piece of information being represented – this is what such basic manners of use describe.  We therefore use the differences in overall application, to help us recognise differences in meaning when such individual applications are similar/identical, by helping us recognise such differences in the basic concept being represented.

If we only ever taught and described the individual syntactic applications as being different basic means of communication, such as those described above, then there could never be any difference in concept or manner of use, for they would not exist.

Describing such individual applications as being different basic means of communication, even if they are caused by the same piece of information, is to deny the very existence of the rules governing both their semantic relationships and their syntactic applications and context, and therefore deny the very existence of language itself.

That this is happening at all, let alone on the scale that it is, betrays any such recognition and understanding of language we should, or think, we have.

We only ever need to describe one basic means of communication, once, and let its basic manner of use describe how it is applied, because of the basic concept the information being represented belongs to.  The only time a single syntactic application is all that matters, fvor language, is of course when it's the only application caused by one single semantic concept, or, as we'll see later, a specific semantic relationship that may involve different concepts, but unequally.  For syntactic communication, however, such individual syntactic applications are exactly what it describes, for each and every individual means of communication.  This also has an impact for one type of thing of happening, as I'll explain shortly.

The foundation of any language and its linguistic study is therefore a complete and consistent recognition of its functional taxonomic hierarchy of basic concepts, and the collection of basic manners of use they cause.  Any differences in overall syntactic application usually reflects a difference in semantic concept that needs to be recongnised and understood - if it didn't, language couldn't function or exist.

So, for this reason, we can describe ways of applying nouns/pronouns with things of happening, that is not applicable to adjective and therefore helps us understand and recognise the difference, which verb can then describe, as seen before e.g.:

  • I walked.

  • I (will) walk.

So, unlike adjectives, verbs can be applied after in direct combination with nouns/pronouns used as its subject, without requiring a question, and gives us a very big clue as to which concept such words can belong to if capable of such an application.

The second main syntactic application verb represents, as currently recognised, is:

  1.  Used in combination with adverbs*, as being their subject.  This is because all things of happening can be given any and all types of property applicable to such a concept – if they couldn’t, then such types of property would have no reason to exist.  Differences in such applications therefore must represent differences in basic concept - (as not truly being things of happening directly, that then cause verb).

*These are currently a problem, which I’ll be looking at later, (I’ll also be looking at auxiliary verb in the next part).  (There are multiple types of property involved with what we currently recognise as adverb, causing multiple manners of use, and so there are multiple applications involved for verb in relation to such manners of use.)

We would currently recognise a single third syntactic application because of the manners of use we recognise, but because our understanding is very simplistic, there are truly multiple applications involved:

  1. All things of happening can exist in relative time and space, including in relation to an object*.  They can be used in addition to the subject for relative amounts (in relation to an object).  All things of happening can be used as the subject of to and at, and given all applicable semantically-applied properties.

Note: The most basic type/form of things of happening can be used as the object of to - (which we currently (inaccurately) perceive as a preposition), (the use of to as a comparison, (e.g. this is to that, as that is to this), is a separate concept with it's own manner of use, for it has no restrictions in concept that can be compared) - directly, with past tense needing required context (involving such auxiliary verbs - (which are currently problematic, again)).  Again, this should truly be seen as a specific syntactic application caused by differences in semantic concept, and the fact we do not do so, is to fail to recognise or refuse to accept such differences.

*We currently have lots of problems with our recognition and understanding of how the English language treats and represents relative time and space, and prepositions in general, (yes I know lots and lots of people have been studying them, but they never seem to get the overall context right), which I’ll again be looking at in a later part.

So, the three applications above are the only ones that are consistent with all types of things of happening, and are therefore consistent with what we need verb to represent.

Now however, is where things start to change.

The final main syntactic application verb must be used to represent, is the most problematic. The reason for this, is that not all types of things of happening have such an application, though this isn't fully recognised and understood, due to our confusion between such differences in application.

  1. Used in combination with auxiliary verbs*, and can therefore be given additional information and context because of it, (especially tense).

*So have problems here, in not recognising all the differences in representation and applications that auxiliary verb and even verb itself does not and cannot describe, and therefore struggle to recognise the differences in concept that such differences are an effect of.  Although I’ll be looking at auxiliary verb itself in my next part, some of the problems with verb, that I’ll come to later, will have ramifications for our recognition and understanding of such a thing, too.  The most important distinction that needs to be made here, is recognising that have in combination with past tense things of happening cannot be consisdered an auxiliary verb for it does not share the same applications as the concept that must define such use.

The existence and application of auxiliary verb and the concept that causes it, must form part of the definition of verb itself, or neither fully exist.  Because not all things of happening are applied in combination with such a concept, not all things of happening are used as verb.

These 'four' general syntactic applications are all that verb can be used to describe.  All other applications we currently label as being verbs or types of verb, are either caused by different concepts and have different, incompatible, applications, or are not applicable to the most basic concept of things of happening itself, which is truly the only concept that can cause the manner of use labelled verb.

Just as adjective is reliant on noun to exist, adverb and auxiliary verb rely on verb to exist aswell.  Because of the nature of how syntactics functions, this means that they must BOTH be defined in relation to each other, as including such syntactic applications.   To allow any syntactic application to be considered a verb without any possibility of additional adverb/auxiliary verbs etc. to be added, is to deny the existence of both and therefore the concepts that must cause them.  Again, any differences in syntactic application must reflect differences in semantic meaning and (usually) overall concept - how can it belong to things of happening and therefore cause verb, if it cannot be given any property of such a concept, and have any adverb* (see above) used in combination, for example?


Past Tense Things Of Happening

All of the above applications are applicable to the basic things of happening, which is why such a concept is the only one consistent with causing verb.  The basic problem we're not consistent in recognising when it comes to the past tense things of happening is confusing have for an auxiliary verb.  It is instead treated as a single concept, with a single application and then manner of use in its own right, purely in combination with such a type of one past-tense (e.g. swum) thing of happening.  If it was an auxiliary verb it would be applied in combination with the basic things of happening by default, which it is not.  This different application alone, means that such a type cannot be considered to cause verb.  However, because this additional concept is also required for auxiliary verbs to be applied in combination, such past-tense things of happening therefore do not have any direct application with  auxiliary verbs - only in relation (via have) and therefore also has an impact upon such a concept.

Another application past-tense things of happening have, which is shared with continous things of happening, is that they can be used as the object(s) of, in combination and relation with, after, a comparative-property that exists in relation to a subject, usually a pronoun - e.g.: It was easier said than done.  (It was quicker running than walking.)  I feel that this is used as evidence to support all properties being used both before and after things of happening, and therefore dismiss any such differences in application between such types (more on this in the next part.)  However, in my opinion, such a property is actually a property of the subject (e.g. the pronoun) that is then comparing such things of happening, instead.  Since the things of happening are not the subject of such a property when applied in this manner, it doesn't mean they share an application or manner of use with any properties that are applied before their subject (thing of happening).


Third Person Singular '-s' Things Of Happening

At the minute this form of things of happening, (e.g. runs, walks etc.) is not seen as being anything truly different in relation to the overall concept, things of happening, just a simple form consistent with any others that things of happening can take that has no impact on its overall semantic concept and therefore syntactic application.  Unfortunately, there is one difference in the latter, which must be recognised, and therefore must also involve a difference in the former - it is also not used in combination with auxiliary verb.

So, if we wish for the relationship between semantics and syntactics to remain consistent - we must consider it a different concept entirely with its own manner of use (that just shares all of its syntactic applications with verb, but not the other way round.)  If we do not recognise this as being anything different in both, or either semantic and/or syntactic application, then we deny the existence and importance of both, and therefore language, communicating and semiosis in general.


Multiple Manners Of Use For A Single Concept?

Since basic manners of use exist to describe applications linked to individual concepts, and any difference in either merely describes a different basic means of grammar, how is it possible for any single concept to have more than one manner of use?  How can one basic manner of use not describe all the different applications such a concept causes?  This appears to be happening in the English language - but only if we wish it to - we can split them into multiple basic concepts if we wish, but that might affect our understanding of such relationships between such different concepts.

This is a very distinct and limited problem in the English language that only affects the basic concept of things of happening.  It is also the main reason why recognising and describing what is and is not a verb, (and therefore a thing of happening, too), has caused (and is still causing) so many problems, even though some of the answers shouldn’t be too hard to figure out.

The problem exists, because some things of happening, whether seen as being of different types or forms, are applied in an additional way than that described by verb, or the manner of use for such individual types of things of happening in general.

So why can’t we recognise such differences in application as being caused by differences in concept?  Because they are treated as belonging to the same concept based on its/their relationships in the taxonomic hierarchy. 

In other words, we have some different syntactic applications caused by different individual things of happening within the English language, that only exist because they are different individual things of happening.

Unfortunately, such is our confusion about differences in syntactic application and concept, that such similarities are being seen to be far broader than they really are, and we’re not recognising the differences for what they are, either.

Having said all that, however, it is still within our power to deliberately choose such different types of things of happening to be treated and recognised as different basic concepts if we so choose, if we wish the differences in semantic meaning to also be consistent with their differences in syntactic application.  I am unsure which would be the best outcome, though the latter would be the most consistent.

'-ing'/Continuous Things Of Happening/Gerunds

Here we have a really big problem, and is where the concerns above really appear.

The first thing that needs to be recognised, is that, like the concepts above, this has no direct application with auxiliary verb.  What it does do, similar to past tense things of happening is use additional concepts in relating the two - (be/been (am/is/are etc.) - more on this later.)

As we’ve seen with the basic applications of things of happening and properties of things, different concepts can share individual applications even though their overall manners of use are completely different and distinct, and therefore reflect the differences in meaning.  Basic concepts and individual manners of use can therefore only be described in relation to individual applications if that is all they cause, which is rarely the case in the English language.

To then take an individual application, and describe it as belonging to such a different manner of use, caused by different concepts and describing different additional applications – (e.g. if we perceived such things of happening as causing adjectives) – is to deny any such differences in concept and any overall applications that its basic manner of use must be seen to represent.  Such a mistake is so fundamental, that it almost denies the very existence of differences in basic concept and syntactic manner of use that language itself describes.

And yet that is exactly what we’ve done with '-ing'/continuous type things of happening for (at least) the English language.

The basic problem is that one of the distinct syntactic applications this type has, is to be treated as the subject of a sentence, and therefore appears to be used in a manner similar to things and other concepts used as nouns, even though not only is its concept different, but it does not share any other applications noun itself represents.

What we’ve failed to recognise and understand is something simple – that a particular type of things of happening, e.g running walking etc. has its own specific manner of use that is distinct from other things of happening, and therefore cannot (and should not) be described as verb in general.

The main application verb describes that this form does not have, is that it is not used in combination with auxiliary verbs - instead, it requires a different basic relationship (am/is/are etc.) with its subject, and it’s this relationship that causes direct similarities in application with adjective, even though it’s a thing of happening, and not a property, as I described earlier, and is why the descriptions of such an application as being verb are not truly consistent.  It is also not used as the object of to, and is further semantically applied as part of a type of property of things (e.g. running water) and another, further applied concept we would currently perceive to be used as noun, but cannot be based on how it is fully applied.

We therefore have a choice about how we describe this type of thing of happening and its manner of use, and recognise that the term 'gerund' makes no sense in the description of language in general - for it tries to put too much importance upon the recognition of a single syntactic application rather than the overall manner of use such a concept has.

There are four additional applications, (though one may possibly be seen as a 'type' of application?) such forms are used as, in addition to any that verb describes, two of which are unique to them, which is why such forms must be recognised as causing their own manner of use!  Such differences in application must mean we should consider this form/type of thing of happening to be a distinct and separate basic concept in its own right, yes?

The first application, as mentioned before, is that they can act as the subject of a sentence in relation to other things of happening or their properties – (hence the confusion with noun, and the use of 'gerund') – e.g. Running is a great way to get fit.  It must be recognised that they are only used this way because of the type of things of happening they are, in addition to their other applications – there is no difference in the meaning of running between the previous sentence and, e.g. I am running away.  Since there is no difference at all in meaning or basic concept, such different applications must form part of the same basic manner of use!

The second application could be seen as not being necessary to recognise, but I thought I'd add it anyway, as being related to the first, but also similar to that which verb describes, so why and how is there any difference?  This type of thing of happening can be used in direct combination with a subject, but requires additional context/phrasing/arguments to make sense as part of a sentence:

  • The bus running early, means I have to walk.

  • I have to walk because of the bus running early.

  • A computer getting too old, will eventually have to be replaced.

The third application, is unique and special, is not recognised to be as limited as it is, and is causing a lot of problems.  This particular application is that this type can be used in direct combination (not requiring a further relationship or comma in its place) with other things of happening – e.g. I remember walking to the shops.  It is always applied as the object when combined with other things of happening, but can also act as the subject, too - (e.g. I am remembering running away.)  Our confusion that this is even truly possible for other types of things of happening, and therefore applicable to verb itself, means that some other, different and distinct basic means of grammar are not being recognised and understood – (more on this shortly).  The problem with this application, especially as the object of other things of happening, is that it is not used in combination with any other general basic concepts - the things of happening that treat this type as their object do so precisely because of the individual things of happening they represent, not their particular type.  The things of happening that are used as the subject are specific individual basic means of communication that then cause such rules of grammar for continuous things of happening.  This is not a relationship between syntactic communication and language we are currently able to truly recognise and understand, fully.

The fourth additional application that this form has, is one that it shares not only with some (but not all) other things of happening but another concept aswell, (that isn’t recognised for what it is, because the differences in application it causes because of such differences in concept, are not being recognised for what they are).  This is a single application that is shared between multiple concepts - but unequally.

This application is therefore also unique, and special:


Things Of Happening In Combination With Properties Of Other Concepts

So, the problem with this application is that it is shared by different types or forms of things of happening, aswell as an additional concept – e.g.:

  • I am feeling hot/hotter than usual/hottest of all/hot-ish.

  • It will turn red/is turning red/has turned red.

  • I am being good/will be good/have been good.

  • Outside is getting cold.

  • It will get brighter, later.

  • It runs hot after a while.


(At this time, because of our inconsistent (and poor) recognition of relative time and space in the English language, such things of happening are only perceived and described in relation to adjectives, which is a problem (more on this in a later part.))

As we can see above, this application is being caused by all tenses and types of things of happening, in relation to all types of property of any and all other applicable concepts except for things of happening.

As to how we should perceive and label such an application, however, we have a couple of choices.  Obviously, at this time, we consider this to be a particular type of verb, that must be caused by things of happening in general, because we make no distinction in its or their description.

Unfortunately, not all things of happening, any such entire basic concepts, are applied in this manner, and for that reason, it cannot be considered to be a/a type of verb at all, as being caused by any individual concept, or even the entire type of concept in general. In my opinion, there is only one solution to this problem - describing this single syntactic application as a single manner of use in its own right, that such applicable individual things of happening and an additional concept can share.  This, in my opinion, is the only solution that really makes much sense, and is therefore one of the very few times in the English language where a single manner of use describes a single, individual syntactic application.

What this manner of use should be called, however, is another question, and one I have no answer to, or any suggestions to make.

As I said before, however, there is a much bigger reason why considering this application to be a verb (or type thereof) is such a problem – it is shared with another basic concept, one that is distinct, but related to and even derived, from (all types of) things of happening, (and is currently confused for and by).  Needless to say, that such differences are not currently recognised.


Being, Be and Been

The word being, based on its spelling and initial application, appears to be an '-ing'/continuous type of thing of happening, and with be and been in relation, similar to other basic means of communication used in that way.

So why is it not used in a manner that would allow us to consider it that way? Why must it be considered something different and distinct from things of happening in general – as an entirely different concept, almost all to itself?

The answer to this is simple: there are two particular syntactic applications that things of happening – of all kinds and forms, including the continuous type – have that must be used to define what both of the concepts used in combination are, (and their manners of use), that these words, in relation, do not have:

Being, be and been (in relation) are not given the basic types of properties applicable to things of happening – e.g. high/higher/highest – instead, such properties are related to its subject, and therefore of the application above – e.g. I am being better (behaved) than you (are).  (There is, however, another property they can be given, which is also currently a problem – (next part!))

Being, be and been (in relation), do not (or should not) exist in relative time and space (setting or object).

As additional evidence that it's not a basic thing of happening, they also have one additional application:

Being, be and been (in relation), can also be used in combination with one form of things of happening – that of one type of past tense - e.g. swum.

Being cannot therefore be considered a thing of happening, and instead forms an additional, related, concept (with be and been when used in relation to being).

Such differences in application, however, as I said, merely reflect differences in meaning, and here it is also clear that being, be and been do not share all the same semantic relationships with other concepts that things of happening do, but more on this in a (much) later part.

What this concept and associated manner of use should be called, I do not know.

However, as I said, be and been must only be considered in this way, when used in a similar manner to being, and this is because they have additional applications that being does not, and, as such, belong to another, additional, concept, themselves…


More Basic Relationships

It shouldn’t really surprise anyone that some relationships in the English language are either treated or even applied as things of happening, or appear to be – afterall, relate is a thing of happening, itself.

There is, however, only one basic relationship that is truly treated as a thing of happening/verb, (and then sometimes further derived from there in other basic means of grammar), even though it’s still only a relationship in its most basic form – that represented by have/possess/own, for example.  This relationship isn’t really a problem, therefore, except to understand and recognise the difference between its basic application and its use as a further thing of happening.

For another relationship, however, we have a much bigger problem.

As to why we have a problem should be obvious:

We consider it to have different manners of use, depending on different applications of the same information/means of communication/basic concept.

This relationship, is represented by the words am/is/are (was/were).

These words are used to relate some different basic concepts to each other, including some things of happening (continuous/past-tense (swum)):

  • All concepts used as nouns/pronouns -> Their properties (adjectives)

  • All concepts used as nouns/pronouns -> Relative Time and Space (setting/in relation to an object)

  • All concepts used as nouns/pronouns -> Things of happening (continuous)

  • All concepts used as nouns/pronouns -> Things of happening (past tense)

  • Relative time and space (setting) -> Properties (???)/Things of Happening (continuous)

  • Relative time and space (setting) -> Properties (???)/Things of Happening (past tense (e.g. swum))

  • (They are not used to relate things of happening with their own properties.)

  • In combination with (as part of a phrase that includes any of the above and) 'prepositions'*


*more on this in a later part

So why do we consider the first three applications to be different manners of use? (Verb/auxiliary verb?)

Does the definition and concept of is change between the following sentences?

  • It is hot.

  • It is getting hot.

  • It is in here.

  • It is running (away).

The answer, of course, is no, it does not.  All of the applications above therefore only require one, single definition for each representation.  The phrase e.g. I am what I am etc. may require an additional definition for each.

So, is/am/are/was/were belong to a distinct concept, with its own manner of use, separate and independently of verb and things of happening.

There are only a couple of questions to be answered:

What should we call this relationship?  My suggestion would be one of identity, though this may a be considered incomplete when considered in relation to its use in combination with prepositions*

What should we call its manner of use?  I haven’t a clue, sorry…

*more on that, later.


Be And Been In Relation To Am etc.

As we can see, the above relationship only seems to cover present/perfect and past tenses, and doesn’t include future tense equivalents at all.

The reason for this, is that such a relationship is treated as becoming something more like a thing of happening in its future tense, using the word be, e.g.:

  • I am going to the shop.

  • I will be going to the shop.

  • I will be gone, by then.

As we can see, be is treated as a type of thing of happening, requiring an auxiliary verb to denote tense.  It cannot be considered as belonging to such a concept though, for it can be used directly in relation to other things of happening, without needing a further relationship or form ('-ing'), and is still applied differently.

Been can also be used in relation to be, as related to am:

  • I am at the fair

  • I was at the fair

  • I will be at the fair

  • I have been at the fair

(Note: the types of concept currently perceived to be used in combination as a ‘preposition’ with am/is/are etc. are not always the same as that used in combination with things of happening in general (e.g. only been is used in combination with to) – more on this in a later part.)

This concept also allows be and been to exist in relative time and space, that being does not.

Hopefully it should be obvious why be and been, in relation to am etc. also exist as distinct concepts with their own manners of use, distinct from, (but related to), things of happening in general.  Again, like being such concepts do not share the same semantic relationships that things of happening do, also.

Am/is/are/was/were and be/been in relation are not auxiliary verbs (or verbs) – to consider them as such, is to confuse their concept with those that are – will/shall/can etc..

Note: the use of be after in combination with to can be considered in relation to both uses of be above, as can have been. (E.g. to be good could be seen within the context of either I am good or I am being good.)


Additional Syntactic Applications

There also appears to be one additional syntactic application for some things of happening that is also unequal based on their form/type, and therefore must also be recognised according to differences in their manner of use rather than basic concept, but we need to recognise other concepts first, that are used in such combination to cause this problem - relative time and space as a setting and in relation to an object.  As such, I will explain this matter later when looking at such concepts themselves.


Further Notes

So, confusing too many different concepts for being a single concept, things of happening, is a problem, for they do not share the same relationships and applications (semantic and syntactic) things of happening in its most basic form, and verb itself must describe.

The main reason it’s really a problem, though, is because there are two different concepts that can only exist in relation to the basic things of happening, and '-ing'/continuous things of happening that are not only different and distinct from each other, but are concepts that none of the additional concepts above have any direct relationship with. To perceive them as being similar, due to their application, if not meaning, denies us the ability to recognise such concepts for what they are – they simply cannot exist, (and don’t, for all intents and purposes right now).

Isolating things of happening and the continuous things of happening as the basic concepts they both are, is therefore extremely important for the overall recognition and understanding of the English functional taxonomic hierarchy, and its basic rules of grammar.

Recognising the first such additional concept is even more important for our recognition and understanding of games, art, puzzles and competitions, however, which is why it matters so much, here



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