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Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"
6

Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

(OP)
I was just looking at an article headline in Flipboard and tapped the screen to open the article. Due to a congenitally fat index finger - diets and exercise help not one iota - I accidentally tapped on the Star to the right of the headline.

I was presented with a pop-up which said:

Quote:

Log In Required - You must be logged in to Twitter to favorite (sic) this item

Is there any noun in the English language that can't be turned into a verb?

It is time for pacifists to stand up and fight for their beliefs.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Tebowed, came into the lexicon last year.

Jim C.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Off topic, but the "verbing" of the word "verb" is the only recursive joke that I can think of!

Thanks,
Andrew

smarty Hard work often pays off over time, but procrastination pays off right now!

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

It's one thing to verb a noun when there is no such verb to describe the action; however, it's another to verb a noun when there already exists a verb for that action. I would suggest that every time you feel the urge to verb a noun, or if you come across a verbing, try to determine if there already exists a verb that would convey the same message with equal efficiency.

For example, had the quote been, "Log In Required - You must be logged into Facebook to friend this person", I would question the verbing of friend because there already exists the verb "to befriend". With respect to the cited example, is there already a verb that means "to make a favorite"?

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RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

(OP)
>>is there already a verb that means "to make a favorite"?

Possibly "to favour" - but maybe that is too vague for the desired meaning.

It is time for pacifists to stand up and fight for their beliefs.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

The problem as it relates to the internet and software applications is keeping the language consistent with the application itself. I don't think using "befriend" in the context of a facebook "friend", or "favour" in the context of a "favorite", works nicely. But I also don't like arbitrarily making up verbs from nouns. "Add this person as a Friend" or "Add this item as a Favorite" doesn't require much more screen space, syllables, or made-up verbs either.

But groups of users will always create their own lingo to shorten things. I still cringe when I hear "social security number" shortened to (i dont even know how to spell it...) "sosh" ? (pronunciation of the first syllable of "social")

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

In this special case the abbreviationed verb to "fav" a tweet is colloquial, even in germany, where the normal verb would be "favorisieren" or "bevorzugen", which in fact is the same: to favo(u)r.

And it's as wrong to describe what you really do with the tweet. I would choose to say I appreciate a tweet (or video or book or whatever other things you can appreciate via a rating system).

What would describe that action better would be "to add to your favorites", but that's even unwieldier to use. The point is, this doesn't need to be your most favorite thing in the world to "favorite" it.

Of course another term for this is to "star" an item, which is another example of a verdeb noun.

Bye, Olaf.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

I think it's an example of taking language shortcuts by and for people that neither understand nor care about proper grammar and word use. Facebook is the AOL of today. There are millions of monkeys sitting at millions of keyboards, and Facebook is nothing like Shakespeare.

Stars for acl03 for the chuckle and CajunCenturion for the insightful post.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"


Sounds like a lot of verbage to me.

I was on the verge of verbing, when this reverb conflated from a convergence of converb and coverb.

Skip,

glassesJust traded in my old subtlety...
for a NUANCE!tongue

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

To Skip

Then there's the pro-verb (not to be confused with the proverb)

see:  http://www.encyclo.co.uk/define/pro-verb

I particularly like pro-verbs, they save so many keystrokes.

Sam
 

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

==> Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"
There are many collective nouns which cannot be verbed and still remain semantically relevant.

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Wise men speak because they have something to say, fools because they have to say something. - Plato

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Kind of the reverse, but it mildly irritates me that the word "invite" has been turned into a noun. I regularly hear in online games (and it is frequently hard-coded in their user interfaces) phrases such as "please send me an invite!". I would prefer "invitation".

Annihilannic
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RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

(OP)
>>There are many collective nouns which cannot be verbed...

CC, please give examples for our edification (not to mention education).

It is time for pacifists to stand up and fight for their beliefs.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Quote:

Is there any noun in the English language that can't be turned into a verb?

Do you mean a "real verb" or one that the merry cans haven't made up yet? :D (not wishing to offendisesic any Americans of course by that.

Chris.

Indifference will be the downfall of mankind, but who cares?
Time flies like an arrow, however, fruit flies like a banana.
Webmaster Forum

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

==> Do you mean a "real verb" or one that the merry cans haven't made up yet?
I think the "merry cans" have a long way to go to catch up to perhaps the most famous verber of all, William Shakespeare. And it was Shakespeare who wrote, "if it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending alive" (KING HENRY V) (emphasis mine). Thankfully, not even the great bard himself thought to offendise. smile

==> CC, please give examples for our edification (not to mention education).
Please keep in mind that it's verbed and still remain semantically relevant.
A collection of apes is known as a "shrewdness". That would be tough to verb (to shrewdness?), and even if you did, it's not likely to remain semantically relevant to apes. If the apes shrewdnessed a new member, would that mean that was one clever ape, or that the group is so clever for doing so? How about a smack of jellyfish? There is nothing wrong with being smacked, but I doubt the jellyfish care for it. How about a tiding of magpies? There are many others that I'm sure we could have some fun with.

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RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

(OP)
Let's start this off with a crash of rhinos.

A lying of politicians possibly?

It is time for pacifists to stand up and fight for their beliefs.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

A lying of politicians already has a verb form, "to campaign".

bigsmile

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

On yet another tangent, is it possIble that some commonly accepted verbs were once contested?

House : housed
Store : stored (or maybe that verb got nouned)
Horse : horsed (around)

**********************************************
What's most important is that you realise ... There is no spoon.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

One that has caused me grief lately is "efforting". I am efforting to think of an example of using "efforting" instead of "trying".

I keep trying to do something about my procrastination but I keep putting it off until tomorrow.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

That's an example of exactly what I was referring to, tcsbiz. It's sad when people resort to awkward verbing when the action verb already exists.

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RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

resort to awkward verbing

Would that be called "awkwarding"?

Thanks,
Andrew

smarty Hard work often pays off over time, but procrastination pays off right now!

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

==> Would that be called "awkwarding"?
More like awkwording.

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Good Luck
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RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

This discussion is really worth a read. It should be communcated to a wider audience.

Bye, Olaf.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

communicated

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Star for you, Cajun. That was great!

Thanks,
Andrew

smarty Hard work often pays off over time, but procrastination pays off right now!

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

I think this has been going on for a long while, now.

Quote:

Fist, Jimmy jimmied the lock. The Jimmy used a jimmy to jimmy the back door.

James P. Cottingham
I'm number 1,229!
I'm number 1,229!

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

This isn't an example of verbing, but it does seem to be in the same family. I was in a departmental meeting today with some very high level management and we were told that in the stores we shouldn't just be selling, we should be "solution selling". "We need to be better at solution selling our customers". "We need to get better at the solution sale". Every time I heard the phrase "solution sell" or "solution selling" I thought of this forum.

I just wondered why "sell solutions" wasn't sufficient. Or why "sell them what they need" needed a makeover.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

It seems the Greeks (or the scholars of the language) had a word for it:

Anthimeria - to use one part of speech as another.

Verbify and verbize already exist, so "to verb" fails CCs prior claim criterion. If this were Groening's Springfield, "emverben" would be totally cromulent!

However, this is English and as such anything goes, except when it becomes too unwieldly. It could be argued that "to verb" is a cleaner and more practical version, except that the past participle, verbed, is an "awkword" in speech with the b-d conjunction.

An example of a noun difficult to verbify might be the perfectly good noun "jewellery" - a collective general term for various sparkly or precious body adornments that are not classed as clothing. In itself, the word is a bit of a mouthful, and not a good candidate for verbification. In recent times, The semantically similar noun "bling" has appeared with much greater potential for anthimeria - "blinging up baby" has a whole new meaning.

The two verbisations I detest most are "to leverage", meaning to exploit, or compound a financial advantage, and to route, not at all with the meanings, but with the "merry cans" mispronunciation rhyming with beverage and bout, instead of beaver-edge and boot.






RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"


Quote (guitarzan)

groups of users will always create their own lingo to shorten things. I still cringe when I hear "social security number" shortened to "sosh"

I know exactly how you feel. In New Zealand, it is common to hear "www" spoken as "dub dub dub", especially in radio and television adverts. My anger level always goes up a notch or two when that happens. It's not like saying "double ewe" is hard. I blame the Australians - they're clearly a bad influence winky smile

Dan

Coedit Limited - Delivering standards compliant, accessible web solutions

@ Code Couch: http://www.codecouch.com/dan/

@ Twitter: http://twitter.com/SleepyDrunkDan

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Quote (BillyRayPreachersSon)

it is common to hear "www" spoken as "dub dub dub", especially in radio and television adverts.

I think we have the usual suspects our dear friends across the pond to blame thank for that one!

Somebody called George dubyah ... something or other.

AND

Matt Cutts

Chris.

Indifference will be the downfall of mankind, but who cares?
Time flies like an arrow, however, fruit flies like a banana.
Webmaster Forum

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Heh, as Stephen Fry pointed out, "double ewe double ewe double ewe" is a very inefficient acronym; it has 3 times as many syllables as "world wide web"!

Annihilannic
tgmlify - code syntax highlighting for your tek-tips posts

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Annihilannic,

very true. Sometimes abbreviations are really helpful. In the end, anything you write or talk about many times will be abbreviated or named. In our company, for example, we have a time tracking software for the our work time and that#s called Tim as in "Time is money", but it's also a normal, pronouncable name.

What brings up my anger rather are internet acronyms like AFAIK. Especially that one hides, that you are unsure about what you say. That's important to stress and AFAIK does the opposite (by the way it means "as far as I know" AFAIK).

I already stated I would rather like to appreciate things than to star or fav them.

I feel with you, but I disagree, that any abbreviation is bad. Actually that's not the main topic anyway. Here in germany the concern of language affine people are anglicisms, not only pseud-anglicisms. And I also can feel with that, but especially in IT there are really awkward words for IT terms. You will call a laptop laptop, perhaps also notebook, but not "Klapprechner" (fold computer).

For the purpose of a special term differing from the general meaning, in this case a specific term for twitter, I think it's arguable to introduce such a new word for it, as to favorite. I agree to favour is not hitting the meaning and I disagree "to add to your favorites" is feasible.

In the general case I think the verbing of nouns is quite common on the management level and annoying even more so, if combined with buzzwords.

Bye, Olaf.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Quote (OlafDoschke)

I already stated I would rather like to appreciate things than to star or fav them.

A star for that line Olaf, just to be ironic.

bigsmile

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Really appreciated, hehe.

Bye, Olaf.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

This is an oldie that still raises my hackles: "impact", as in

The feces impacted the rotating oscillator.

IT'S NOT A VERB. Repeat after me. IT'S NOT A VERB. I don't care what the online dictionaries trumpet.

Why yes, Bob the Angry Flower is my role model.

-------++NO CARRIER++-------

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

(OP)
@philhege - Have you never heard of "Impacted wisdom teeth"?

It is time for pacifists to stand up and fight for their beliefs.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

> IT'S NOT A VERB
philhege: Why not? OED cites literary references using impact as a verb as long ago as the 1600s! I guess my question is, is all "verbing" bad? Is old "verbing" acceptable? Have we already "verbed" all the nouns we need to?

Should we have a moratorium on all future "verbing", and only allow it when it meets the criteria CC mentioned earlier (when no verb exists to describe the action)? I would be okay with that... winky smile

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Quote (guitarzan)

... when no verb [already] exists to describe the action ...

I'd be much happier with this restriction.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

(OP)
On the other hand, and simply to play devil's advocate for a moment, the English language is an evolving organism. Why should restrictions be placed on the development of new words, or new uses for existing words?

If, as has been stated here, it is good enough for Shakespeare to use words in a new way - or, indeed, to invent completely new words - it is surely good enough for the rest of us. I appreciate that my ramblings here will not be remembered in four hundred years - or even four hundred minutes - but I believe that the inventioning of new words keeps the language fresh and current.

It is time for pacifists to stand up and fight for their beliefs.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Quote (hjgoldstein)

... I believe that the inventioning of new words keeps the language fresh and current ...

I don't disagree with that at all - but the almost daily addition of new 'verbed' nouns, where perfectly good and apposite verbs (some of them shorter than the new words) already exist, does grate somewhat.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

... apart from your insertion of a verbed noun, of course!

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

==> I believe that the inventioning of new words keeps the language fresh and current.
Even if at the expense of ambiguity and miscommunication?

I'm in favor of a living language; however, changes should be slow and deliberate. I'm not in favor of changing language simply because it can be changed. It stands to reason that if one invents a new word, then no one knows the definition of that word. The meaning and intent can only be gleaned subjectively through context, and any such subjective process is open to (mis)interpretation.

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RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

(OP)
CC, I totally concur. Changes to any language should be evolutionary, not revolutionary.

As long as no misunderstandings can occur, especially where such misunderstanding can lead to unintended consequences, there is nothing wrong with that evolutionary approach.

It is time for pacifists to stand up and fight for their beliefs.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

(OP)
I have just received an email from a developer of one of our systems in response to a request for an ad hoc report:

Quote (Developer)

I've added a Level ID to disambiguate multiple notification levels for one limit type.
I nearly fell off my chair at how appropriate this was to the current discussion.

It is time for pacifists to stand up and fight for their beliefs.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

(OP)
...Then I looked it up and found that it is a word. Who'da thunk it?
GW Bushist words make the mainstream.

It is time for pacifists to stand up and fight for their beliefs.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

I don't think there is any question that President Bush did his share of "keeping the language fresh and current" shall we say; however, 'disambiguate' doesn't belong to him. On the other hand, I believe he deserves full credit for "misunderestimate" and "embetterment". One could even say that Bush embettered the language -- or not.

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RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

English has been evolving steadily since it appeared as a distinct language. Often it has two or sometimes three alternative words for the same thing, mostly originating from Anglo-Saxon, Norman-French and scholarly use from Latin or Greek.

It is common for nouns to be verbed, verbs to nounify and either to be adjectived. Britons often complain about US innvoations, but look back and a lot of them have been 'naturalised'. Rails on railways, for instance, rather than 'metals'.

Some hold out: mum / mom: petrol / gas.

But broadly, go with the flow.

And I see 'friended' as useful, a distinct process that occurs on on-line forums.

------------------------------
An old man tiger who lives in the UK

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

(OP)
Now I have found another grammatical phenomenon - in the Financial Services Sector - that of verbing an adverb.

I have seen the word "Backwardation" being used seriously. No, seriously!

It is time for pacifists to stand up and fight for their beliefs.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

"Twittered" should actually be "Tweet" - not that the whole thing itself isn't ridiculous.

http://internet.inmyarea.com/

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Quote:

"Twittered" should actually be "Tweet" - not that the whole thing itself isn't ridiculous.
I thought the word was Twitterpated and not Tweeterpated. winky smile

James P. Cottingham
I'm number 1,229!
I'm number 1,229!

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

(OP)
The question has been asked about the fashion for revealing celebrities' secrets on Twitter a la Ryan Giggs etc.

Could this be called "Twouting?"

Aspiring to mediocrity since 1957

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

I can't take anything to do with "Twitter" remotely serious, maybe it's the members being known (by choice) as twits

Which I do see as ironic and rather appropriate given the inane "twittering" that goes on.


Chris.

Indifference will be the downfall of mankind, but who cares?
Time flies like an arrow, however, fruit flies like a banana.
Webmaster Forum

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

And as for somebody being in court for a "menacing tweet"!!!



What next,

Jack Daw arrested after giving a threatening squawk???????

Chris.

Indifference will be the downfall of mankind, but who cares?
Time flies like an arrow, however, fruit flies like a banana.
Webmaster Forum

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

To the topic of "Is There a Noun That Can't be 'Verbed'?", I assert that the entire class of nouns that end in "-ness" (besides Lock Ness <grin>) become rather silly if one attempts to "verb" them, for example:
  • kindness
  • awkwardness
  • ugliness
  • friendliness
  • hopelessness
  • happiness
  • et cetera
Also rather trivial when one attempts to "verb" them directly are nouns that already come from a verb:
  • assert -> assertion -> assertioned?
  • complete -> completion -> completioned?
  • happen -> happening -> happeninged?
  • et cetera
So, IMHO, there are tons of (classes of) nouns that, when "verbed", seem stilted, irrelevant, trivial, silly, and/or highly contrived.

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

You could summarise that by saying that any word that has been converted once probably can't (or shouldn't!) be converted again, since your first list are all adjectives that have been nouned. smile

By the way, it's "Loch". blllttt

Annihilannic
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RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

"Lock Ness" is the degree to which something is secured, as in: "The lock ness of the padlock was 100%." <grin>

santaMufasa
(aka Dave of Sandy, Utah, USA)
“People may forget what you say, but they will never forget how you made them feel."

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

rofl2 Nice escape there, Houdini!

Annihilannic
tgmlify - code syntax highlighting for your tek-tips posts

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

You can lead a horticulture...

Frank Clarke
--America's source for adverse opinions since 1943.

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

(OP)
You can take a horse to water

Spoiler:

but a pencil must be lead

Aspiring to mediocrity since 1957

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

@ HJ, nope, it can be graphite too... ;)

@ Olaf: >> I already stated I would rather like to appreciate things than to star or fav them.

I agree, but, the problem is that outside of the "facade ledger" the word "Like" for such an action could be deemed a misuse of copyrighted material...

@ Annihilannic: >> By the way, it's "Loch"

What or which hole? ;)

Ben
"If it works don't fix it! If it doesn't use a sledgehammer..."
How to ask a question, when posting them to a professional forum.
Only ask questions with yes/no answers if you want "yes" or "no"

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

Quote (SantaMufasa)


I assert that the entire class of nouns that end in "-ness"

I would almost include all abstract nouns with some exceptions like "worry" and "romance".

Along with "ness" I would include all abstract nouns that end with "ment" "ism" "ence" "ity"

Here's a list of abstract nouns that may support my theory and Santa's too.
http://www.scribd.com/doc/3887529/List-of-Common-A...

Please let me know if I'm way off base

Sam

RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

==> Along with "ness" I would include all abstract nouns that end with "ment" "ism" "ence" "ity"
I think that in many cases, it wouldn't make sense (not that that stops anyone) to verb nouns that end in these suffixes because many of these types nouns were derived from base verbs.
amendment: to amend
endorsement: to endorse
providence: to provide
convergence: to converge
relativity: to relate
and so on.

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RE: Is There a Noun That Can't be "Verbed?"

CC, didn't I say that already? winky smile

Annihilannic
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