denouncing the dictionary as a glorfication of ignorance

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forgoodorill

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi, everyone!
I read a book named The glamour of grammar. There's a paragraph really confused me.

I was an eighth grader at St. Aidan School in 1961, the year Webster's Third included the word ain't-without disapproval-for the first time. The conservators of langguage were outraged, denouncing the dictionary as a glorification of ignorance, and its editors as "permissive". But the Webster's team was doing nothing more or less than taking note of the way people actually used the language. These lexicographers were members of the descriptive school because they described the language used in spoken and written English.

Here's my question: This paragraph describes a past event, so basically it should and must be past tense, in most its part. But you could see these bold part in this paragraph, they're all v-ing form, so these words: denounce, do, take, all describe a process in the past? So they use this form? If what I said is true, then how could I know when could I use this form?

Thanks in advance!
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Yes they describe processes that were happening back then - in the past. Hence the use of past continuous. They used the continuous to capture the fact that these were all happening at the same time and during their "outrage". The writer is consdering them to be things that happened in a longer time frame than an "instant".
     

    forgoodorill

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Yes they describe processes that were happening back then - in the past. Hence the use of past continuous. They used the continuous to capture the fact that these were all happening at the same time and during their "outrage". The writer is consdering them to be things that happened in a longer time frame than an "instant".
    Thanks! So basically, that's an idea in which the author want to express?
     
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