Friday, July 27, 2007

On verbalizing nouns:

The English language probably has more words than any other language on earth.* So why is it that, lately, people feel the need to replace perfectly serviceable verbs with nouns masquerading as verbs?

A dictionary is perfect for gifting.

You can keep it on the mantle in your fireplaced living room.

Take it out when you liaise with friends.

Outreach to those who’ve developed the jargon habit.

I’m visioning a future in which we can still understand each other.

A language is a living thing and we can’t expect it to stay static. English needs to grow and develop if it is to maintain the capacity to articulate the changes in our culture and our world. I don’t object to the additions of a new meaning for “mouse” or eight million words with e as a prefix, but I have to object to replacing effective, widely used words like “giving” out of sheer laziness or mistaken self-importance.

If, after reading this post, you are looking back at the title and thinking: “that doesn’t mean what she seems to think it means,” well-- you’re right.


No comments: