About a year ago, a co-worker I hadn’t seen in more than a decade friended me on Facebook. When she first messaged me, her note was a bit sheepish. Not because we hadn’t stayed in touch, but because we had worked together as newspaper copy editors, and she wasn’t completely comfortable reintroducing herself by using “friend” as a verb.
“I’m a little embarrassed to get back in touch by verbing you with a noun,” she wrote. “But C’est la Facebook.”
She’s so clever!
I hadn’t realized until reading her note how often I use friend and other nouns as verbs. Verbing is not a new trend, but it seems more common than ever. I sometimes find it irritating, but mostly when it’s used in business-speak. For example, a former manager never said we would talk about something, he said we’d dialogue it. That’s a little irritating, no?
For some interesting insight on verbing, read YOU’VE BEEN VERBED by Anthony Gardner from More Intelligent Life.
Grammar Watch is an occasional series about grammar peeves, abuses, giggles, and rants. Email me with any topics you’d like to see included here.