December 24, 2010

The Verbing of America

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:12 am by dgcombs

I’ve noticed a recent trend in American speech patterns which I call “verbing.”

It has become most noticeable during the holidays because of the use of one simple four letter word. No! Not that one!

Gift.

I thought this was a nice simple word. It is, in its essence, very much a noun. Do you hear!? A NOUN. You see what one looks like. This is not complex. It is a gift. Simply wrap up a box and put a bow on it. It’s a gift, I tell you!

But now people have begun using this as a verb. A transitive verb no less, “Whom will you gift on Christmas?” But not so strong a verb as to not need a helper in most sentences. “And how many people are you gifting this year?” or “I have been gifted a Ferrari!” Poor gift, he can’t even stand on his own.

But recently, a new trend caught my eye making the whole thing even worse! Not only can you participating in the practice of gifting to your family, friends and neighbors this year. But now you can stoop to a new low, re-gifting! And it’s everywhere!

Wikipedia presents a gift to you by defining regifting. MSN keeps you from making a fatal mistake in regifting by presenting not one, but twelve rules for regifting. And oh horror of horrors, there is now a National Regifting Day. The final insult, that bastion of American culture, NPR has a confession story on regifting.

Let me offer an alternative. It’s a verb. And a real verb, too. It’s give. That’s right. You can give me a Ferrari. I’d love one. I’m not sure how many people I’m giving a present this year. But if I get a certain special gift, I might regive it to you!

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