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nouns into verbs

(18 Posts)
ArgyMargy Tue 30-Apr-13 18:41:17

On Monday's Today programme, talking about the introduction of benefit caps in Ashton under Lyme, Ian Duncan Smith offered up the verb "to pathfinder", using it thus: "we pathfindered that, and we are pathfindering this". What on earth does he think he is doing?! What is your (least) favourite noun-turned-verb? Personally I dislike "to parent" but I think I'll be in a minority.

MuseumOfHam Tue 30-Apr-13 18:44:45

To task, as in 'I have been tasked with pathfindering this project.'

To pathfinder - eek!

MardyBra Tue 30-Apr-13 18:47:01

Like what Shakespeare used to do? wink

Although he probably would have found "to pathfinder" somewhat cumbersome.

ArgyMargy Tue 30-Apr-13 18:56:39

Touché, Mardy. Somewhat nauseating to link those two men in any way, though. grin

lurcherlover Tue 30-Apr-13 19:01:08

I got a bit fed up with all the medalling that was going on in the Olympics.

ArgyMargy Tue 30-Apr-13 21:53:12

Agree, Lurcher! One kind of meddling is plenty.

prism Fri 03-May-13 14:15:00

I think there's a difference between making an elegant use of a noun that enriches the language, and making perverse use of words to draw attention away from the fact that you're not really saying anything. "Pathfinder" is a particularly ridiculous choice of noun for this purpose, as it already includes an implied verb, and one which isn't much to do with what he's trying to say (i.e. "we are trying it").

Perhaps "IDS" could catch on as a verb meaning "use a noun as a verb when there's a much better way of saying it in normal English"?

StealthOfficialCrispTester Fri 03-May-13 14:17:34

Don't forget to gift. I always thought the verb form was "give"

MardyBra Fri 03-May-13 18:01:45

"I think there's a difference between making an elegant use of a noun that enriches the language, and making perverse use of words to draw attention away from the fact that you're not really saying anything."

You're quite right Argy and prism, "to pathfinder" is not an elegant use of a noun. "To dog" someone is much more descriptive.

prism Fri 03-May-13 20:19:17

My current bête noire is the opposite- a nounified verb. I can't bear it when people use "disconnect" as a noun, as if we didn't have dozens of perfectly good other words that would say what they mean, and more clearly. And I'm a long-standing opponent of "invite" as a noun, though I may be fighting a losing battle there. sad

jkklpu Sat 04-May-13 23:19:13

to partner
to impact (esp when used transitively)
to problem-solve
to feedback (NB without a space)

chateauferret Sun 12-May-13 22:58:12

Well newfangled things seem to cause this. 'To gift' came about when lawyers needed a verb that was distinct from 'give' because it connoted a formal conveyancing process involving paperwork rather than an informal passing of objects from hand to hand. Similarly social networking gives us to 'friend' as distinct from 'make friends' or 'befriend', to 'defriend' rather than 'fall out with', to 'text' or to 'message', to 'killfile' (any Usenet users out there?). The lack of inflections in English makes it easy to adapt words to other parts of speech and still be clear. That is not to say that we should use a word from the 'wrong' part of speech where there is already a perfectly good word available or when yhe meaning isn't clear. 'Pathfinder' is an example of someone who just couldn't be bothered to write properly. 'Trial', 'pilot', 'experiment with', 'explore' or 'research' might all have been better. Three of those verbs are of course also nouns :-)

Greythorne Sun 12-May-13 23:00:56

To overnight

I remember David Starkey talking about having overnighted at some stately home. I might be alone, though, in finding it irksome.

tethersend Sun 12-May-13 23:01:03




Ginformation Sun 12-May-13 23:04:46

Ahem, I think you will find it is Ashton-under-^Lyne^.

<misses point, but this is Pedants Corner> wink

Ginformation Sun 12-May-13 23:05:30

Pedants' ffs blush

edam Sun 12-May-13 23:09:20

Ooh, I'm so glad I didn't hear IDS saying 'we pathfindered that', it would have done my blood pressure no good at all. Agree with the irritation at 'medalling' as well. I hope it dies off as the memory of the Olympics fades. I didn't like Team GB, either, what's wrong with 'The British team'?

'To impact' is horrible. They usually mean change, or affect, why not just use those words? Do they think it sounds more impressive, somehow?

MrsShrek3 Sun 12-May-13 23:15:10

so are we talking of gerund, or do we lack the -ing? sigh. The people who do this probably wouldn't know one if they said it wink grin [evil]

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