Re: Verbing nouns

Subject: Re: Verbing nouns
From: "Wayne J. Douglass" <wayned -at- VERITY -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 25 Feb 1997 11:39:26 -0800

At 01:20 PM 2/25/97 -0500, Pete Kloppenburg wrote:
>Others have offered:
>> > I tried to Robert the following paragraph:
>> > I newspapered while I Mondayed and coffeed yesterday. The article said
>> > Madeleine Albright Kissingered recently as she diplomatted while she
>> > Chinaed.
>> > Did I Robert correctly, Robert?
>> No, you're merely M. Daviding.
>> But I think I've Mitched Robert's point.
>
>I think the immortal Calvin said it best, in conversation with Hobbes
>on just such a point: "Verbing weirds words."
>
The irony of this exchange is that *all* examples are quite understandable,
albeit with some effort. The "good" ones (however that is determined) may
make it into the lexicon; others won't. That's how language changes. I
remember a time when the press coined the word "zieglering" to describe
Richard Nixon's press secretary Ron Ziegler's attempts to explain the latest
Watergate revelation. It had its moment in the sun; now it is probably
relegated to William Safire's political dictionary.

As for verbing nouns, how about adjectives? Case in point: "incarnadine"
from Macbeth.



--Wayne Douglass

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