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.
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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.
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