Arguing Word Testing, Trialing and Proving

One of the tricky areas of word study is knowing what –ING words can have an S added to them. Just to demonstrate the difficulty the only quiz this week is on which of the four –ING words in the title can have an S added to them.

Clearly ARGUING, TESTING, TRIALING and PROVING are all correct, but how do you feel about ARGUINGS, TESTINGS, TRIALINGS and PROVINGS?

If the word can be used as a noun it should be able to take an S. For example the word SETTING can obviously take a plural. If you can have a table setting for one person you can obviously have many settings for many people

Nouns can always have the word THE placed in front of them, so one of my methods is to try to use it in that way in a sentence. However, that is far from foolproof. Just consider these examples from this week’s quiz:

The ARGUING from nextdoor kept me awake until midnight

The TESTING of new police recruits need to be more rigorous

The TRIALING of new policy guidelines will start next week

The PROVING of the Law of Gravity was a great scientific breakthrough

They all sound good to me, but they are not all correct. On the other hand they are not all wrong. Before we get to the answers, I have a few high probability words for you to look at:

CARTING CRATING DARTING ELOPING ERASING LEAPING PEALING PEERING TEARING VETOING

All of those words do NOT take an S. Here some other words that DO take an S. Some of them are anagrams of CARTING, CRATING, DARTING and ERASING:

CEASING

LOANING

LORDING

RAISING

SEARING

STARING

SOARING

SOURING

TRACING

TRADING

It is quite tricky remembering which ones take an S and which ones do not.

There are currently 2174 words of 7 letters that end in –ING. Of those 2174 words there are only 827 which take an S which means that 1347 of them do not.

Since the number of 7 letter –ING words that take an S is less than 40% of the total it is well worth spending 5 points to challenge any –INGS words that you are even remotely doubtful about.

How about the 4 words in the title? 2 of them can take an S and 2 of them cannot.

TESTINGS and PROVINGS are both allowable words

TRIALING and ARGUING cannot take an S.

It is very confusing isn’t it? Particularly as in my mind TESTING and TRIALING mean exactly the same thing.

It was a very small quiz this time, so If you are keen here is another one for you:

CARTINGS CEASINGS CRATINGS DARTINGS

ELOPINGS ERASINGS LEAPINGS LOANINGS

LORDINGS PEALINGS PEERINGS RAISINGS

SEARINGS SOARINGS SOURINGS STARINGS

TEARINGS TRACINGS TRADINGS VETOINGS

Those are the 20 words from the two lists I gave you earlier. I have put an S on all them. Can you cross off the 10 words that are wrong?

Happy Scrabbling

Patrick

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