“The House is Building”?
Why you never learned the passival tense, even though it used to be proper English grammar.
As a language evolves, words, phrases, and even whole tenses fall in and out of fashion. And then, every once in a while, a whole new way of expressing a particular thought will emerge seemingly out of nowhere and eventually win the day. That’s what happened over the course of the 19th century with the “progressive passive,” which took on a construction known as the “passival” and muscled it completely out of the English language. Listen as Bob Garfield and I discuss what’s arguably the biggest change in our language since Shakespeare.
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Mike Vuolo is a radio and podcast producer and the host of Lexicon Valley.