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(The New York Times)   Old and busted: verbing weirds language. New hotness: nominalizations responsible for language weirdification   (opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com ) divider line
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4872 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Apr 2013 at 2:05 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-02 10:22:23 AM  
I don't understand some of his later examples. "That was an epic failure" for example. Failure has been a noun for a long time.
 
2013-04-02 10:46:10 AM  

MadSkillz: I don't understand some of his later examples. "That was an epic failure" for example. Failure has been a noun for a long time.


He mentions the fact that failure has been a noun for a long time, but makes the point that fail as a noun was around before failure. But he's also drawing a distinction between the two different kinds of nominalizations with those examples. The kind where you don't change the verb at all and use it as a noun, "epic fail", and the kind where you add a suffix to it to make it a noun, "epic failure".
 
2013-04-02 12:18:31 PM  
Or, to quote a song that was recently a No. 1 hit in Britain, "Would you let me see beneath your beautiful?"

That's just awful.
 
2013-04-02 12:57:28 PM  
That article gets me right in the feels.
 
2013-04-02 01:56:56 PM  
People called Romanes, they go, the house?
 
2013-04-02 02:02:51 PM  
www.unmemorabletitle.co.uk
 
2013-04-02 02:05:55 PM  
FTFA: The argument for doing this is that the first version is weaker: dynamic writing makes use of "stronger" verbs.

In English, I find that to be true. English places such a high value on "word order" in lieu of declension that the power of verbs is magnified. If English retained German-style declensions for nouns there might be more flexibility. As it is---verb usage really makes or breaks a sentence's impactation. Cromulently.
 
2013-04-02 02:10:46 PM  

ITGreen: [www.unmemorabletitle.co.uk image 800x273]


See, that's the thing. We already manipulate verbs in that way all the time in English as gerunds and participles.
 
2013-04-02 02:11:14 PM  

ITGreen: [www.unmemorabletitle.co.uk image 800x273]


assets0.ordienetworks.com
 
2013-04-02 02:11:31 PM  
www.blisspost.org

Is amused by this.
 
2013-04-02 02:14:48 PM  
encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com
 
2013-04-02 02:20:52 PM  
Look, it's really quite simple. There are a whole lot of stupid people out there. But we can't limit talking to just smart people; dumb people need to be able to communicate too. And this is how they do it. From a sociological perspective it's really quite interesting. From any other perspective, it makes me want to kill someone.
 
2013-04-02 02:21:43 PM  
Somehow, that article made me feel dirty.
 
2013-04-02 02:22:32 PM  
Bah- wake me up when they start using ablative absolutes.

/which, having been introduced during the second week of Latin class, drove the students insane
 
2013-04-02 02:23:15 PM  
I think we should parking-lot this discussion until tomorrow.
 
2013-04-02 02:25:18 PM  
Sometimes it works the other way.  "Graphics interface" became "graphical interface". Who cares.  I'm going to go open a bottle of my Gerund Organism Vineyards muscatino.
 
2013-04-02 02:26:10 PM  
I like you subby because of the interesting word usements you structure.
 
2013-04-02 02:26:43 PM  
my grandfather corrected my grammar in the early 80s when i went to a golf course with him.  He said, "You don't 'golf', you play golf.  It isn't a verb."  As much as he was technically correct circa 1940 that usage went the way of the dodo long before that.  He was just trying to teach me the usage he learned 50 years earlier.
 
2013-04-02 02:28:40 PM  
So, what now? The English language is deriving by zero?
 
2013-04-02 02:29:08 PM  

The Flexecutioner: my grandfather corrected my grammar in the early 80s when i went to a golf course with him.  He said, "You don't 'golf', you play golf.  It isn't a verb."  As much as he was technically correct circa 1940 that usage went the way of the dodo long before that.  He was just trying to teach me the usage he learned 50 years earlier.


I don't golf, I soccer.

(She hates it.)
 
2013-04-02 02:29:23 PM  

Stoj: I think we should parking-lot this discussion until tomorrow.


I keel you
 
2013-04-02 02:30:01 PM  
Also, it is exceptionally difficult not to punch people who use the word "dialogue" as a verb.  That only works as a stage direction.
 
2013-04-02 02:30:33 PM  
graphics8.nytimes.com

Missing Panels:

The Public Announcement / You're Kidding, right?
The Starved to Death
Working 20 years in IT waiting for the market to catch up to you
 
GBB
2013-04-02 02:31:43 PM  
What is the ask?
www.lrionline.com
 
2013-04-02 02:34:26 PM  
I feel bad for people trying to learn English when crap like this goes around.
 
2013-04-02 02:35:19 PM  
One that drives me crazy at work: "Are you going to send a meeting invite?" No, but I will send a meeting invitation.
 
2013-04-02 02:38:12 PM  
Mellow greetings. What seems to be your boggle?
 
2013-04-02 02:38:27 PM  
Shakespeared
 
2013-04-02 02:38:46 PM  
 
2013-04-02 02:39:25 PM  

RougeFemme: One that drives me crazy at work: "Are you going to send a meeting invite?" No, but I will send a meeting invitation.


You should blog about it.
 
2013-04-02 02:40:01 PM  
Next up:

findicons.com h8 rebfindicons.com
 
2013-04-02 02:40:04 PM  
I like money.
 
2013-04-02 02:40:20 PM  
Even the White House is getting in on the act, describing the "disconnect" between North Korea's rhetoric and action.

I recently talked to an old college buddy who now heads a marketing division of some corporation and he was telling me all about his "spend."  Like "advertising is a big percentage of our spend."  I was wondering, what ever happened to the word "budget"?
 
2013-04-02 02:40:49 PM  

chaddsfarkprefect: Shakespeared


FTFY
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-04-02 02:41:15 PM  

Harry Freakstorm: [graphics8.nytimes.com image 592x683]

Missing Panels:

The Public Announcement / You're Kidding, right?
The Starved to Death
Working 20 years in IT waiting for the market to catch up to you


I like nouning verbs when I can.

/And sometimes when I bottle.
 
2013-04-02 02:41:32 PM  
This has been incredibly impactful.


(as long as we're tossing out corporate idiot-speak)
 
2013-04-02 02:45:50 PM  

netgamer7k: I feel bad for people trying to learn English when crap like this goes around.


I don't, at least not for this. English is one of the few languages where making up and adding words is perfectly cromulent. If you don't like the English word use some other language's and as long as English speakers understand you then voila, it's English.

English consists almost entirely of stolen, mangled, or made-up vocabulary.
 
2013-04-02 02:46:23 PM  
Ah, language evolution.  Grammar Nazis will tell you to always use proper forms, but slang develops from people adding meaning to words that didn't normally have them.  "Friend" used to only be a noun, but now it's a verb. (Friend me on Facebook)  If you use a dictionary to look up "jiggy," what will you find?

As an ESL teacher, I can sympathize with people who hate the process of nominalization, but you can't stifle language evolution. If you say "Stop saying YOLO," do you honestly think people will?  Language use changes over time.  When was the last time you used "cowabunga" in a conversation?  Or used a phrase like "throw the baby out with the bathwater?"  Yosemite Sam uses "tarnation," do you?

If these nominalized words annoy you, it sucks to be you.  I guess you should stop using "Long time no see," since it's grammatically incorrect.  After all, that phrase is a direct translation from Chinese.
 
2013-04-02 02:49:26 PM  
I bet Henry Hitchings is real fun at parties.
 
2013-04-02 02:49:42 PM  
"Disrespect" always used bug me. Still does, but at least now I know it's older than I thought.

Unnecessarily embiggened verbs like "utilize" and "commentate" make people sound dumber than they realize.
 
2013-04-02 02:50:08 PM  

Super Chronic: Even the White House is getting in on the act, describing the "disconnect" between North Korea's rhetoric and action.

I recently talked to an old college buddy who now heads a marketing division of some corporation and he was telling me all about his "spend."  Like "advertising is a big percentage of our spend."  I was wondering, what ever happened to the word "budget"?


I feel that way about the word foodie.  Who wants to be called that?  The words gourmet or epicure convey the proper amount of snootiness.  Foodie smacks of illiteracy and sounds like it belongs in a vernacular where interjections like "Me like food, me foodie" are commonplace.
 
2013-04-02 02:51:09 PM  

FatherChaos: If you use a dictionary to look up "jiggy," what will you find?


An unemployed English major in the mirror.
 
2013-04-02 02:54:04 PM  
I don't catch his drift.
 
2013-04-02 02:56:47 PM  

FatherChaos: If these nominalized words annoy you, it sucks to be you. I guess you should stop using "Long time no see," since it's grammatically incorrect. After all, that phrase is a direct translation from Chinese.


I believe the original Chinese is "wrong time no see".
 
2013-04-02 02:56:51 PM  
www.toothpastefordinner.com
 
2013-04-02 02:57:41 PM  
dyfsunctional:

Unnecessarily embiggened verbs like "utilize" and "commentate" make people sound dumber than they realize.

The term "Physicality" drives me bat shiat crazy.  NCAA tournament commentators spew that shiat out every few minutes.
 
2013-04-02 02:59:07 PM  
Language changes over time.
You'll get over it.
 
2013-04-02 02:59:28 PM  
This thread is full of win.
 
2013-04-02 02:59:29 PM  
do512blog.com

/The king of wordifying everyday speechifications.
 
2013-04-02 03:02:25 PM  

tennessee.hillbilly: [do512blog.com image 250x209]

/The king of wordifying everyday speechifications.


images3.wikia.nocookie.net

EXCLAMATE!  EXCLAMATE!
 
2013-04-02 03:03:04 PM  
I'm no writer of great works but might I humbly suggest sticking to words used in ordinary conversation? The message should be the point, not how much time you wasted learning words no one uses or cares about.
 
2013-04-02 03:04:02 PM  
I'm just a tiny bit surprised that no one has mentioned "Text" being used as both a noun and a verb, and that's become perfectly accptable.
 
2013-04-02 03:07:26 PM  
For redundant corporate redundancy, give me "high level overview." What other kind can you have?
 
2013-04-02 03:07:50 PM  

bacchanalias and consequences: I don't catch his drift.


Let's table this matter.

/leeds, fallow, or get out of the whey
 
2013-04-02 03:08:24 PM  

durbnpoisn: I'm just a tiny bit surprised that no one has mentioned "Text" being used as both a noun and a verb, and that's become perfectly accptable.


Worse, so many people are using "text" as the past tense of itself, as in, "I text [tecksed?] Jennifer over an hour ago."
 
2013-04-02 03:08:46 PM  

bacchanalias and consequences: I don't catch his drift.


I played second drift in high school.
 
2013-04-02 03:10:23 PM  
The only thing that really irks be is people dropping the -ly with adverbs at the end of a sentence when they shouldn't.

"Take it serious"

etc.
 
2013-04-02 03:15:17 PM  

hitlersbrain: I'm no writer of great works but might I humbly suggest sticking to words used in ordinary conversation? The message should be the point, not how much time you wasted learning words no one uses or cares about.


The hypothesis of your manifesto is something that I accede to. The vexatious din of the immoderately circumlocutory of commonplace dictum is superfluous.
 
2013-04-02 03:17:05 PM  
fire bad
beer good.

\not obscure
 
2013-04-02 03:18:43 PM  
I see nothing wrong with leveraging creative utilization of words.
 
2013-04-02 03:26:11 PM  
What the farking?
 
2013-04-02 03:28:29 PM  
HAHA! The author himself uses 'phrase' as a verb.
 
2013-04-02 03:31:35 PM  

Coming on a Bicycle: HAHA! The author himself uses 'phrase' as a verb.


A) It is a verb.
B) He's writing about turning verbs into nouns.
C) He's not complaining about it.
 
2013-04-02 03:32:40 PM  
But nice find otherwise :-)
 
2013-04-02 03:32:56 PM  
"Would you let me see beneath your beautiful?"

I do believe that beautiful is neither a verb nor a noun...and I suck at teh englush.
 
2013-04-02 03:36:03 PM  

DirtyDeadGhostofEbenezerCooke: bacchanalias and consequences: I don't catch his drift.

Let's table this matter.

/leeds, fallow, or get out of the whey


I'm in, so long as we dialogue about clarification.
 
2013-04-02 03:50:33 PM  
my only hope is that I could coherently use the word ignorance to show the act of one's ignoring.  nounification and verbification are both perfectly acceptable, so long as the modified word maintains the same semantic impetus, merely in a new form.  the rules of syntax should change one part of the language.  the rules of semantics change the other.  you can't let syntax violently change semantics, it farks up the whole game.

/ still looking at you, 'ignorance'.  man, we really farked the word up.
 
2013-04-02 03:50:52 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: fire bad
beer good.

\not obscure


Actually it's "Fire bad, tree pretty."

tmyk.jpg
 
2013-04-02 03:52:07 PM  
Why are people here so grumpy? I'm happy as a clam. My friend just told me about a girl he met at a bar last weekend. He tried to prove to her that he was strong as an ox, sly as a fox, had a memory like an elephant. She liked him and became slippery as an eel, a regular snake in the grass.

They went to his place and became snug like two bugs in a rug. They humped like rabbits. Unfortunately he's quick as a bunny. She's depressed and goes straight to the fringe. She's hungry as a bear, eats like a pig. He goes to the liquor cabinet and gets drunk as a skunk. He drinks like a fish and gets blind as a bat. Next thing you know he's out in the street naked as jaybird. He's pissing like a racehorse and says screw her I'm the 800 lbs Gorilla and I'm hung like a horse!

 \just because I just heard it today
 
2013-04-02 03:59:14 PM  

DigitalCoffee: Uchiha_Cycliste: fire bad
beer good.

\not obscure

Actually it's "Fire bad, tree pretty."

tmyk.jpg


SOnuva...
Well, she does say 'beer good' earlier on, right?
 
2013-04-02 04:05:13 PM  
The point of language is to communicate, so please use a common language rather than making up your own. Don't get me wrong, I like using language to exclude people that aren't hip to the latest jive, I just think it's just a bunch of ingsoc.
 
2013-04-02 04:07:06 PM  
And here I thought this sort of intentional grammatical error was only used for comic effect, as if the user was just trying to sound silly by appearing uneducated. I guess I was wrong, and will have to Google it later.
 
2013-04-02 04:22:23 PM  

dopirt: Foodie smacks of illiteracy and sounds like it belongs in a vernacular where interjections like "Me like food, me foodie" are commonplace.


As opposed to oenophile or gourmand, which is the same thing, just wrapped in the false pretenses of Latin or Old French?
 
2013-04-02 04:32:14 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: DigitalCoffee: Uchiha_Cycliste: fire bad
beer good.

\not obscure

Actually it's "Fire bad, tree pretty."

tmyk.jpg

SOnuva...
Well, she does say 'beer good' earlier on, right?


Been quite a while since I've seen that episode. Think that it might have been Xander that did the 'beer good' part.
 
2013-04-02 04:34:50 PM  

DigitalCoffee: Uchiha_Cycliste: DigitalCoffee: Uchiha_Cycliste: fire bad
beer good.

\not obscure

Actually it's "Fire bad, tree pretty."

tmyk.jpg

SOnuva...
Well, she does say 'beer good' earlier on, right?

Been quite a while since I've seen that episode. Think that it might have been Xander that did the 'beer good' part.


we were so close!

Buffy - "Want beer. Like beer. Beer good."
Xander - "Beer bad. Bad, bad beer. What the hell am I saying?!"
 
2013-04-02 04:39:07 PM  

The Flexecutioner: my grandfather corrected my grammar in the early 80s when i went to a golf course with him.  He said, "You don't 'golf', you play golf.  It isn't a verb."  As much as he was technically correct circa 1940 that usage went the way of the dodo long before that.  He was just trying to teach me the usage he learned 50 years earlier.


If so, he learned in incorrectly.  "Golf" was a verb before he was born, unless he's a Highlander.
 
2013-04-02 04:45:42 PM  
I don't know why, but what bothers me is people adding an "H" sound after every S, where none exist.

"Across the shtreet." "He's really shtrong"
 
2013-04-02 04:49:47 PM  

dyfsunctional: Unnecessarily embiggened verbs like "utilize" and "commentate" make people sound dumber than they realize.


"Utilize" isn't (or wasn't, or shouldn't be) merely an embiggened form of "use."  It has a specific, distinct meaning.  Unfortunately, people who AREN'T very smart but wish to APPEAR smart have started using "utilize" to mean "use" because they don't know the difference between the two.

Basically "utilize" means "to use in a novel way, to use something in a way other than its original purpose."
 
2013-04-02 04:57:14 PM  

DirtyDeadGhostofEbenezerCooke: bacchanalias and consequences: I don't catch his drift.

Let's table this matter.


"To table" dates back to 1718 as a verb, and has been used to mean "to postpone indefinitely" in the USA since 1866, so again, not a recent example.
 
2013-04-02 05:00:29 PM  

LordOfThePings: Coming on a Bicycle: HAHA! The author himself uses 'phrase' as a verb.

A) It is a verb.
B) He's writing about turning verbs into nouns.
C) He's not complaining about it.


1560s.  Really, people.  If you must complain about how English changes, pick an example from the last decade.
 
2013-04-02 05:09:39 PM  

ciberido: DirtyDeadGhostofEbenezerCooke: bacchanalias and consequences: I don't catch his drift.

Let's table this matter.

"To table" dates back to 1718 as a verb, and has been used to mean "to postpone indefinitely" in the USA since 1866, so again, not a recent example.


I think the point is that this is not a new phenomenon, so, even if some recent usages are irritating, TFA's author should STFU & GBTW,
 
2013-04-02 05:14:01 PM  

ciberido: DirtyDeadGhostofEbenezerCooke: bacchanalias and consequences: I don't catch his drift.

Let's table this matter.

"To table" dates back to 1718 as a verb, and has been used to mean "to postpone indefinitely" in the USA since 1866, so again, not a recent example.


Threadjack:

"To table" means what you say in American-speak.  In brit-speak, it means "to present for discussion" (e.g., to bring to the table).

Churchill tells a story in his memoirs about the Allies sitting down at a policy meeting.  Some topic gets mentioned.  The British leaders are adamant that the topic be tabled immediately, because it's important.  The American leaders are equally adamant that the topic not be tabled at all, because it's important.  Round and round they go, being stiffly formal with increasing tension.

Eventually somebody happens to restate his side's position without using the word "table", the people across the room blink and say "wait, what?", there are some impromptu vocabulary lessons for everyone involved, and a chuckle was had by all.
 
2013-04-02 05:23:59 PM  

Uchiha_Cycliste: DigitalCoffee: Uchiha_Cycliste: DigitalCoffee: Uchiha_Cycliste: fire bad
beer good.

\not obscure

Actually it's "Fire bad, tree pretty."

tmyk.jpg

SOnuva...
Well, she does say 'beer good' earlier on, right?

Been quite a while since I've seen that episode. Think that it might have been Xander that did the 'beer good' part.

we were so close!

Buffy - "Want beer. Like beer. Beer good."
Xander - "Beer bad. Bad, bad beer. What the hell am I saying?!"


Well, nice that that's been cleared up. As a bonus, neither of us were the ones to eat insects and get the funny syphilis.
 
2013-04-02 05:29:40 PM  

DigitalCoffee: Uchiha_Cycliste: DigitalCoffee: Uchiha_Cycliste: DigitalCoffee: Uchiha_Cycliste: fire bad
beer good.

\not obscure

Actually it's "Fire bad, tree pretty."

tmyk.jpg

SOnuva...
Well, she does say 'beer good' earlier on, right?

Been quite a while since I've seen that episode. Think that it might have been Xander that did the 'beer good' part.

we were so close!

Buffy - "Want beer. Like beer. Beer good."
Xander - "Beer bad. Bad, bad beer. What the hell am I saying?!"

Well, nice that that's been cleared up. As a bonus, neither of us were the ones to eat insects and get the funny syphilis.


Isn't it great to not have to drink the cheapest beer... because college?

Unrelated... you think you can squeeze Excell Saga into 'X'? I bet you can.
 
2013-04-02 05:32:02 PM  

over_and_done: "To table" means what you say in American-speak. In brit-speak, it means "to present for discussion" (e.g., to bring to the table).

Churchill tells a story in his memoirs about the Allies sitting down at a policy meeting. Some topic gets mentioned. The British leaders are adamant that the topic be tabled immediately, because it's important. The American leaders are equally adamant that the topic not be tabled at all, because it's important. Round and round they go, being stiffly formal with increasing tension.

Eventually somebody happens to restate his side's position without using the word "table", the people across the room blink and say "wait, what?", there are some impromptu vocabulary lessons for everyone involved, and a chuckle was had by all.


Two countries separated by a common language.

Thankfully they were able to cleave together instead of being cleaved apart.
 
2013-04-02 06:10:37 PM  

FatherChaos: When was the last time you used "cowabunga" in a conversation?  Or used a phrase like "throw the baby out with the bathwater?"


About a week ago.
 
2013-04-02 07:26:33 PM  

This text is now purple: oenophile


Specifically refers to wine, not fine food in general, IIRC.
 
2013-04-03 12:13:02 AM  

durbnpoisn: I'm just a tiny bit surprised that no one has mentioned "Text" being used as both a noun and a verb, and that's become perfectly accptable.


That one gets me, but the downfall of Western civilization was announced when "friend" became a verb.
 
2013-04-03 12:22:04 AM  

Jaroga: durbnpoisn: I'm just a tiny bit surprised that no one has mentioned "Text" being used as both a noun and a verb, and that's become perfectly accptable.

That one gets me, but the downfall of Western civilization was announced when "friend" became a verb.


So..... late 14th century?  Are you blaming the Ottoman Empire or the Ming Dynasty?
 
2013-04-03 01:22:10 AM  

ciberido: Jaroga: durbnpoisn: I'm just a tiny bit surprised that no one has mentioned "Text" being used as both a noun and a verb, and that's become perfectly accptable.

That one gets me, but the downfall of Western civilization was announced when "friend" became a verb.

So..... late 14th century?  Are you blaming the Ottoman Empire or the Ming Dynasty?


Are either of those empires around?  No?  My point has been made, friend.  ;)
 
2013-04-03 01:26:12 AM  

Jaroga: ciberido: Jaroga: durbnpoisn: I'm just a tiny bit surprised that no one has mentioned "Text" being used as both a noun and a verb, and that's become perfectly accptable.

That one gets me, but the downfall of Western civilization was announced when "friend" became a verb.

So..... late 14th century?  Are you blaming the Ottoman Empire or the Ming Dynasty?

Are either of those empires around?  No?  My point has been made, friend.  ;)


Mind.  BLOWN.
 
2013-04-03 01:46:21 AM  

ciberido: Jaroga: ciberido: Jaroga: durbnpoisn: I'm just a tiny bit surprised that no one has mentioned "Text" being used as both a noun and a verb, and that's become perfectly accptable.

That one gets me, but the downfall of Western civilization was announced when "friend" became a verb.

So..... late 14th century?  Are you blaming the Ottoman Empire or the Ming Dynasty?

Are either of those empires around?  No?  My point has been made, friend.  ;)

Mind.  BLOWN.


For some reason, a star has been lit beside your name.  I might risk saying you have been starred.  I hope yellow 3 suits you.  Cheers.
 
2013-04-03 11:09:09 AM  
What about 'Treble'?

/sorry, kiwi!!
 
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