Blasted linguistic purists – verbing doesn’t weird language!

While being the first to applaud correct spelling (leaving Americanisms to those who live in the deep south), correct implementation of lexigraphy and a basic knowledge of grammer, I can’t help feeling somewhat ticked off by these semi-literate knowalls who have, and are, jumping on the “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” bandwagon.

These unhappy people, who appear to be quite happy to write inches of columns and shelves of books in their quest to make money out of their own obsessions, jump on every newfangled modification of the English language as if it were a spear targeting the very heart of our linguistic purity.

Top among the irritants that set these people whining is swopping “doing words” for “thing words” – the sin of verbing nouns. So what? Who cares?

We often verb acronyms. “I’ll NFA that”. (No Further Action). “It’s FUBARed”. (Fecked Up Beyond All Recognition). Verbal shorthand that meets with universal approval between “them what know”, even if it may leave those of a different generation “out of the loop”. Yet, in the eyes of some, a hanging offense. Who immediately start blogging their complaints online, if you’ll pardon the pun :). (blogging (v.?)—that is, writing and sharing on my blog (n.)—my Web (adj., n.) log (n.).)

Does verbing nouns really impact upon correct usage of English? Should we care? Should we run out and demand to setup a L’Académie Ainglais? With powers to fine or imprison those who transgress Her Majesty’s English Rules?

I will admit many of these corporate buzzphrases are annoying. I admit I don’t know what “getting incentivized” really means. Nor “We want to holiday our house this year”. But the problem there isn’t that the verb has been nouned, it’s that the twits who wrote or spoke the phrase are idiots, and other idiots think it’s smart to repeat the phrases. It’s communication, not the structure of the sentence that’s the problem here.

After all, nobody complains when they can access their computer. Or host their mail on a server. Nouns that through common usage have become verbs, and now seem part of our day to day life.

How ignorant do you have to be? By stopping such developments, you’re stopping the evolution of English. English is so strong, so powerful, because it can be used in such ways, and everybody understands what you mean. We don’t have “proper” rules, such as laid down in stone as they do in French, or Spanish, or Russian, and English is better for it. That’s why English is the second language everybody learns, or the third language everybody speaks. Stick to ensuring the proper flow of communication, is my advice to these pedants, and ignore transitional phrases. After it, it never hurt Shakespeare – he was the first English writer to realise the flexibility of nouns and look where it got him.

But I will never, never, ever, accept the repetition of “like” every six words in a sentence. Like, it’s so annoying, that like, it like, just gets on my nerves. Like, dunno, like right?

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