This is the last week of the A to Z blogging challenge. The last six days are the hardest as the letters at the end of the alphabet have the fewest words to play with. Throughout the month of April, I have been using the challenge to modernise the seven deadly sins with my suggested twenty six versions. Humans, it would seem, have an insatiable ability to sin.
V is for verbing. I understand that language has to change. New words appear. Some evolve while others slip in and out of the vernacular. There must be new words for things that didn’t exist before. A phablet perhaps? Others need to hang around in the shadows even if we are not going to use them. Take a floppy disk for example.
I get all that and while some new words are of dubious heritage, what really gets my goat is the lazy metamorphosis of nouns into verbs. The easiest way to turn an identify-word into a doing-word is to just simply assume that the noun is the root of a verb. Verbing. Texting: as in I texted him, rather than I sent him a text. Tasking: as in I tasked him, rather than I set him a task. I was recently sent a brochure from a hotel giving me rooming information. What is wrong with accommodation or room allocation?
Just stick an ‘ing’ on the end and you have the present continuous tense. Are you eating an apple? No, I am appleing. Are you watching the television? Why not televisioning? It doesn’t stop at nouns into verbs however. Somehow the affixes or suffixes ‘ation’ and ‘est’ have been added to the lazy speaker’s tool box.
Is it the Americanization of the English language? Winningest now seems to be an acceptable word for the team or individual that has won the most. They grate on my ears as a split infinitives do.
Thou shalt not use verbalization.