I know we nag a bit about present participial phrases. I was thinking about this last night, and it dawned on me that people might not understand that this isn't just some personal peccadillo.
So here's a quick exercise for everyone to do. It will take less than five minutes, and the results might surprise you.
Go to your bookcase. Take down a book you love, something that really spoke to you when you read it the first time. Open to a random page.
Count the sentences on that page.
Count the present participial phrases. (Skip past progressive verb tenses and gerunds. We're just looking for the dreaded PPP here.)
That's it. 1, 2, 3. Do the results surprise you?
Share your numbers in the comments. I'll get the ball rolling here. In my purse, I have Don't Bargain With the Devil by Sabrina Jeffries, an historical romance author of no small reputation.
I opened randomly to page 198.
Sentences: 27 (including partials from previous and next page)
Second spin of the wheel, this time on page 108.