Monday, April 25, 2011

Can You VERB It?

When my alarm woke up me up this morning and I promptly hit the “snooze,” I wound up not getting an extra bit of sleep. Instead, for whatever reason, I found myself thinking about verbs. Yes, verbs. Yeah, okay, this is how I amuse myself... *sigh*

Well, more specifically, verbs and nouns. Maybe even Verbs vs. Nouns. What I’m getting at: Suddenly (or more likely again) I’m intrigued by how some words can be both a Noun and a Verb. Oh sure, I’ve noticed before. But there on the pillow for want of a moment’s more rest it became quite curious. Some words are just... both.

Kiss, plant, rope - to name merely but three of them. And then with some words it doesn’t work so well at all: imagine, crumb, leaf. (Now why did THAT assortment come to my head?)

It brought to mind a line from Frasier in which a woman tells him, Ah, see, I’m not one of those for whom ‘antique’ is a verb. I remember laughing quite a bit at that with Sunshine.

And in this day and age, we create new nouns-to-verbs like: Google & text

I don't remember where specifically (and suspect it's been much more than once) I remember someone asking, "Did you just make '____' a VERB?"

I bet I’m going to be noticing it more and more now... but I’ll be more interested in the words that “can’t” be interchangeable!


Anon said...

If I may quote Calvin:

"Verbing weirds language.

Peter Von Brown said...

I love it!
I'm assuming you mean comic strip Calvin (along with his trusty tiger friend) rather than the theologian for whom he is named. :)
For the record, I adore Calvin & Hobbes, but I haven't read them in too long!

Anon said...

What do you think? ;)

Me too! It's influenced a LOT of webcomics, but none have ever duplicated it because they don't seem to understand the point of the comic. Namely deriving humor from the fact that we experience reality from subjective paradigms, and sometimes these paradigms conflict with each other.

Get the three-volume collection of all the comics, if you don't already have it--just try to ignore the one lone comic panel that was changed because of political correctness....