Sunday, August 17, 2008

#122 on new verbs

I am not an old reactionary when it comes to language.  I know it is an organic thing with new words and meanings and connotations coming on all the time but, just like misplaced or missing apostrophes, I do get bugged when new verbs turn up without warning.

For example, who decided that tourists would 'do' places when they travelled abroad?  Personally I cannot bear it when people tell me the 'did' the Sistene Chapel after a summer holiday in Rome. 

And now the BBC have got in on the act.  Since when did 'medal' become a verb?  Rebecca Adlington has medalled twice and so have 4 coxless men (sorry a pun not to be missed) amongst others.

It just worries me that we are simply being lazy with language.  Yes I know the point of language is to communicate meaning as quickly and efficiently as possible but are heading towards the newspeak of 1984?
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1 comment:

Steve S said...

Yes I noticed the emegence of the new verb "to medal" with some amusement and not a little alarm. Unfortunately, because of its identical sound to "to meddle" it does become confusing. "She meddled in the 100 metres???" - obviously not taking it seriously enough, then. :-) If we are going to turn nouns into verbs with such abandon why not go one stage further and use the verbs "to gold", "to silver" and "to bronze"? e.g. "She silvered in the 100 metres!!!" We could also use it in everyday life such as "I sandwiched today" instead of having to use all those little, irritating words inbetween: "I ate a sandwich today". Regards Steve