Carl Edlund Anderson wrote:
>>> and using gerunds (like "using" in "I'm using a gerund") as a
>>> normal present tense.
> And isn't the form "using" in the phrase "I'm using a gerund"
> actually a present participle? (OK, it has been argued that there
> is a fine and perhaps blurry line between present participles and
> gerunds in English, but still .....)
McWhorter himself makes a distinction between the "progressive
construction" ("Mary is singing.") and the "verb-noun /
gerund" ("Singing is fun.") in today's English, and carefully argues
their history. I have the book now, which is pleasingly brief, and
can recommend it.