Re: word usage

Subject: Re: word usage
From: Scott Havens <SHavens -at- ELCOTEL -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 10:41:16 -0500

One of my favorites is "interface." Even my Webster's 9th New
Collegiate allows its use as a verb these days (since 1964, they say),
but the word originally was a noun only (from 1882 on). The words you
cite, however, are strictly nouns, although I've heard "reference" and
"transition" used as verbs quite frequently. (Don't tell my boss I have
nothing better to do than look things up in the dictionary. She might
think of more things for me to do. OOPS! </HUMOR FILTER ON> I'd
better not try to say anything amusing on this list...)

Seriously, I'm not sure what the answer is. Personally, I prefer to
stick with "standard" English usage as much as possible. On the other
hand, all living languages are subject to constant change and evolution.
We can try and defend our fortress of linguistic purity for as long as
we can, but eventually the unwashed hordes of sloppy grammarians will
breach our walls. The trick is knowing when to resist change and when
to "go with the flow." {Seems like I read something like that in
Ecclesiastes. Sorry! </RELIGION FILTER ON>}

I guess I'd better stop before I REALLY get myself in trouble...

Have a nice day (<PLAIN VANILLA FILTER ON> unless, of course, you don't
WANT to, and then don't let my idle good wishes influence you in any


> -----Original Message-----
> Since so many issues about word usage seem to be people's pet peeves,
> I
> thought I'd get your opinions on mine.
> I was always taught that nouns should not be used as verbs. One does
> not
> "office," "reference," or "transition." One has one's office
> somewhere,
> one refers to something, and one makes a transition to something.
> Am I fighting a losing battle here? Should I just accept that this is
> the way things are going to be?
> Elisabeth B. Zakes

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=

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