Friday, January 7, 2011

YOU'VE BEEN VERBED (Many don't bother me, "efforting" though ... )

YOU'VE BEEN VERBED | More Intelligent Life:

Some lovers of the language deplore the whole business of verbing (Benjamin Franklin called it “awkward and abominable” in a letter to Noah Webster, the lexicographer, in 1789); others see it as proof of a vibrant linguistic culture. Certain words seem to bring people out in a rash—among them “actioning”, “tasking”, “impacting”, “efforting”, “accessing”, “progressing” and “transitioning”. Often, though, the dictionary yields surprising precedents: “impact” was used as a verb in the 17th century, and “task” in the 16th. Other verbs have managed to escape linguistic ghettoes (“to access” was recognised by the “Oxford English Dictionary” over 20 years ago, but only as a computing term), or acquire new meanings: “to reference”, originally meaning “to supply with references”, has now become a near-twin of “to refer to”.
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