On this morning PBS’ program *Whad 'Ya Know , the question was asked what is wrong with the following sentence: “Writing resumes is not necessary…” The answer given was that the verb should be are. I’ve been pondering this all day and cannot agree. If * resumes * is the subject, * writing would have to be an adjective, but the adjective of this word is written. *Writing *is a gerund noun, and resumes modifies writing, at least in my mind. So, since this is a syndicated program heard throughout the nation, I must be wrong. Explain why I’m wrong.
Yikes. This was on PBS? :eek:
You’re not wrong. The show was wrong.
Well remember one of the four disclaimers: “While the questions are painstakingly researched - the answers are not.”
Sorry - I meant to add some content too. You logic makes sense. Is it correct to test it by removing the gerand modifier? For example: “Writing is not necessary…” is obviously correct as opposed to “Writing are not necessary…”.
Did they definitely say “writing resumes” and not “written resumes”?
Doesn’t make much sense to me.
“Writing resumes are not required” sounds like “It isn’t required to have resumes that write.”
I agree with missbunny. Surely the TV programme must have been referring to *written * resumés?
Still, the name of the programme is Whad 'Ya Know, which doesn’t suggest a high level of English language proficiency.
The host said writing and he said it several times. I’m not mistaken as to what he said, especially when he said it several times.
Not to mention that there’s nothing surprising about the grammar of “Written resumes are…” so there’d be little reason for it to be mentioned on the show.
You should write to PBS and ask them to explain.
I just did, but first I wanted to run it through you guys to confirm that I’m correct.
I can’t imagine how they could be right. Maybe they meant “riding resumes”; i.e., resumes that detail one’s “riding” as opposed to “jumping” or “steeplechase.”
Let us know if they answer you!
Don’t you mean NPR? Or have they started showing Whad’Ya Know on television?
(OK, it’s not really NPR either. It used to be PRI; now I’m not sure who carries it. But everyone refers to public radio as NPR, even if it really isn’t. On a related note, the best on-line personal ad I saw had a line to be filled out “X is sexy. Y is sexier.” The person had filled it out “NPR is sexy. PRI is sexier.” She wouldn’t go out with me.)
Good points. Whad’Ya Know is produced by PRI and, in my case, is aired on CPR, an affiliate of NPR.
As for the personal ad - that sounds like the Onion personals.
It was Spring Street personals, yeah. They have several site-specific brandings, but I forget which one I used. Might have been Onion. Matter of fact, I think it was. Waste of money, in my case, unfortunately. One of my friends got his ad used in a print ad for the company! He already had a girlfriend at the time, not through the ads.
Here’s a thought…
Maybe ‘writing’ is being used as a noun, as you would use handwriting.
“Writing resumes are not required; typewritten resumes are acceptable.”
I know this is awkward usage, but is this show British or some other English speaking country other than the US?
Maybe there’s a format of resume called “Writing” or maybe even “Wrighting”.
In that case it would be correct even though it would sound weird because of the natural tendency to associate the word ‘write’ with resumes.
If there was a format of resume called “Johnson-Spielberg”, it would be correct:
“Johnson-Spielberg resumes are not required. DiGallucci format is preferred.”
I know this is going out on a limb, but maybe someone who does resumes professionally could shed some light on this.
OOPS! Writing would be an adjective of resumes…but once again, an extremely awkward one.
Maybe it could be “write-in résumés.” (Just a desperate thought.)
Grasping at straws and needing sleep…
Wry tin resumes?
I found an archive of the show…the most recent episode is from 2/12 on the site. I guess tomorrow or sometime during the week, they’ll put in today’s episode. You need RealPlayer to listen.