Verbing nouns has become something of an epidemic
in North America
over the past decade
. It is indicative of the generally pitiful state of the English language
in our societies, and I think it high time to start pointing fingers
The popular media do nothing to help promulgate proper English (be it either spoken or written), and academics have done more than their fare share to worsen the situation. However, IMHO the single worst offenders are the technocrats: those who either produce and/or profit from technology in general, and more specifically computers. In keeping pace with the ever mounting workload and the loss of time, technocrats have taken it upon themselves to speed up communication by mangling the language. Here are some common examples:
- As wonko points out, input is not a verb, but is often used as one.
- Access is not a verb; it is a noun, as in something one has. One does not access a database; one has access to said database.
- Webify. Dear *od people, that's not even comprehensible!
- Obsoleted, as in "OSS has been obsoleted as a sound standard." This usage has the added problem of being in the passive voice. In all cases, something has become obsolete.
It's common mistakes like these that have driven many an English professor
. In fact, my first-year writing and logic professor would literally tremble at the thought
of having to perform what she politely called "missionary work
": her class with the engineering undergrads.
And for those who feel inclined to soft-link this to the grammar nazi node, don't bother. I've done it myself.