Let's say you were asked about a thing you prefer doing over the other. And you say:

''I would choose to be reading books rather than gossiping about people's lives.''


''I would choose to be reading books rather than engaging in gossip about people's lives.''

I have 2 things on my mind:

  • 1) using the ''gossiping'' word in a sentence seems a bit off(never heard of it). Am I right?
  • 2) if the ''gossiping'' word is appropriate to use, I wanted to advance it by changing it into ''engaging in gossip''(colloquial) to make me sound like a native, as part of stepping it up a bit as an ESL.
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    If you google gossping, you will find it well established. And while changing it to engaging in gossip is quite legitimate, it is unlikely to make you sound better educated or more idiomatic. – Ronald Sole May 28 '18 at 10:01
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    I think your question boils down to whether gossip can be used as a verb. It can, and you could've checked the dictionary to find that out. The linked dictionary entry provides some collocations when it's used as a noun as well. – userr2684291 May 28 '18 at 11:04
  • @userr2684291, I think you're missing the point here. I've already looked that up on the site, but still, human experiences cannot be compared to just computer inputs. – John Arvin May 28 '18 at 13:26
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    I think it sounds most natural and colloquial to use the first version with gossiping. As a general rule, if you can use fewer words without changing the meaning, you'll sound more natural. – Canadian Yankee May 28 '18 at 14:08

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