Verbification

“Verbification,” for those of you not hip to the latest in lingo, is the process of taking a word, typically a noun, and turning it into a verb.  Don’t believe The Curmudgeon?  Google it and see for yourself.

The very phrase “google it” is a verbification.  Back in the last century, if we wanted to find, say, a recipe for pumpkin mousse – one of The Curmudgeon’s culinary specialties, by the way – we would say that “I’ll do a Google search for a recipe for pumpkin mousse.”  Now, we say we’ll just “google” pumpkin mousse.  We’ve turned a noun – Google – into a verb, and in the process, we also stripped it of its right to a capital letter at its beginning.  “Google” is a company name and definitely is subject to capitalization; google the verb, however, is not.

In general, The Curmudgeon deplores this growing tendency toward verbification.  In fact, at one point he thought very briefly that he had coined the term itself (and “verbification” is itself a variation on verbification, but in this case a real noun turned into a non-existent noun), but a quick Google search, in which he googled “verbification,” proved that he was sadly mistaken.  (“Your search had 2,134, 865 hits in 0.3 seconds.”)

So we have all had to learn to live with verbification.  Chefs, for example, no longer move food from pots and pans onto plates; instead, they plate their food.  We no longer RSVP; we say we “RSVPed.”  We no longer send text messages; we text someone.  (The Curmudgeon, however, neither sends text messages nor texts.)

After a while it all seems so very routine, but once in a while we come upon a new instance of this abysmal practice, and The Curmudgeon came upon one such example recently.  In a March 26 article about a reality show contestant injured while doing one of the many silly things that reality show contestants do, the Philadelphia Daily News reported that this contestant was treated by on-site medical staff and “was later choppered to a nearby hospital…”

That’s right:  he was choppered.  He wasn’t transported by helicopter.  He wasn’t transported by copter.  He wasn’t even Med-Evaced or medvaced (more perversions of the English language).  He was transported by chopper.

Choppered.

Ugh.

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