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MAKING VERBS OF NOUNS

10 September, 2012

I don’t know where this started, but “parenting” comes to mind.  There are “partnering” and a host of other examples.  I am, but should not be, surprised when I spot new ones.  The one to follow came from a newspaper website:

“Despite commands to stop and drop the weapons, the suspect aggressed the officers, who were forced to defend themselves.”

I suppose there should be points for creativity on that one, but geeze people!  Simply saying the suspect became agressive toward the officers would have been less destructive to the perception of any intelligence in the writer than inventing yet another noun-to-verb perversion.

(ADDENDUM: During the 2012 NFL playoffs, a player’s stats were shown. Included were the number of quarterback passes he had “defensed”.  Lord … will it ever stop?)

As Bill Watterson, speaking through the cartoon character Calvin, once observed:  “Verbing weirds language.”

I think I’ll go coffee myself.

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2 Comments
  1. Thank you for this post. I need to re-coffee myself now. I understood every word and the meaning. In some ways, it is much clearer than much of the stylebook American English used, particularly when the writer has nothing to say..

    • The meanings are indeed usually clear. I hope you’ll forgive an old curmudgeon but it is the ‘trendy’ sheep factor that bothers me. It is inelegant at best and I’ll call it “verbalization”. At least that is a word.

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