Thursday, December 24, 2009

Verbing

There is a battle raging in the Stan household and poor Stanetta is caught in the middle, having to choose sides.

The dispute is around the use of the word "dialoguing", which Mrs Stan used in an essay recently and which gave me something akin to anaphylactic shock when I read it.

To me, there are valid situations where converting a noun to a verb just works. For example, I don't object to the use of "to oil" instead of "to apply oil" - nor do I whince when "chair" is used as a verb. Yet the use of "dialoguing", "medaling", "signaturing" and even "transitioning" can raise my blood pressure more than reading about a mere human rights abuse. What does that say about me ?

No, don't answer that.

In the case of "dialoguing", this was a perfectly acceptable verb form to Shakespeare, then it fell out of fashion for a few centuries before being enthusiastically adopted by the kind of management consultant that gets paid by the syllable. I'm sure it's this Bullshot Bingo association that provokes my response.

Mrs Stan and I agree to disagree on this, but really it's down to Stanetta - she inherits the English language from our generation and it will down to her lot to decide whether in future we will "dialogue our issues and language a response".

2 comments:

Kenny said...

Totally with you Stan. That kind of thing makes me nuke small South American countries.

Mrs said...

Well, Stan darling, I am a happy woman. I must say I'm rather miffed that you blogged on THAT word out of context...for comedic effect on your blog, I know. But my Sweetie, after proof-reading a 3000+ word, theological essay on Christian mission, the only thing that made you cringe my lovely atheist was the D-word. Re-sult. (PTL!)

xxx