I am thinking there must be something wrong with the usage of "this" here:

The video made its debut on Aug. 27, and as of this writing, more than 600,000 people have seen it.

"Writing" is the uncountable activity of, well, writing. Using the determiner "this" with "writing" suggests that "writing" is countable. Is the sentence wrong, or is my analysis wrong?


As someone said in response to another recent question of yours, a word does not have to be countable to be used with "this". "Countable" means that you can count it, you can say "I have 3 of these". "Uncountable" means something that does not come in distinct units, like you CAN'T say "I have 3 waters." (Well, people are always making countable nouns out of uncountable nouns. If someone said "I have 3 waters" people would probably understand him to mean "3 glasses of water" or some other container.)

But that doesn't mean that you can't identify different "bodies" of an uncountable noun. It is quite reasonable to point at a lake and say "this water", as distinct from the water in some other lake, river, or whatever. "Happiness" is uncountable, but I might reasonably say "This happiness I feel from eating chocolate" or "That happiness that comes with a job well done".

The phrase "as of this writing" is commonly used to mean the time when the composition containing those words was written, as in this example. For example if I say, "As of this writing, Mr Jones holds the world record", I mean that that statement is true at the time that I wrote it, but if you read that article months or years later, someone else may have surpassed his record. Of course this sort of statement would almost always be true of a statement about the current status of anything. It stands to reason that conditions could change in the future. But sometimes we want to emphasize this, to say that we know that it is likely that this will change.

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    So, I could write "this happiness", "this courage", "this stalling (for time)", "this noncooperation", etc... – meatie Oct 9 '14 at 23:58
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    Yes, all are quite reasonable. "Corporal Jones stood his ground while the rest of the platoon retreated. This courage saved many lives." "Had we but world enough and time THIS COYNESS lady were no crime." -- Andrew Marvell. Etc. – Jay Oct 10 '14 at 13:27

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