This got me thinking.

This got me thinking.

Rita posted the suggestion wine-tastings as a reaction to Jon Hird’s excellent article  about ‘verbing’ which started me thinking.

What came first noun or verb? The Online Etymology Dictionary places taste as a verb earlier than taste as a noun, so ‘ we were tasting wine’  must predate  ‘a wine tasting’ or ‘a series of wine tastings’.

At some point wine tasting became a gerund ‘Wine tasting is my hobby, wine tastings are my life’.

I have found some hyphenated wine-tasting, but almost exclusively when being used as an adjective as in  a wine-tasting glass, following the adjective noun compounding ‘ a strong-tasting cheese, a foul-tasting beer’; but there is not a lot of evidence for  hyphenating compound noun gerunds – it is usually ‘the fell running shoe’ or  ‘the ice climbing boot’.

Do you know if any of the exam boards have created any ‘rules’ for this sort of thing?



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