Thursday, September 27, 2007

Verbing nouns

Lucky Mark was reading me an email he was writing so that I could act as his portable thesaurus. The email was full of such phrases as 'in order to progress this application' and 'we will action the document'.

"Why don't you use plain English?" I complained. "'Progress' and 'action' are nouns, not verbs."

"Everybody else does it," he pouted.

"That doesn't make it right," I echoed my mother's favourite admonishment. "What's wrong with saying, 'in order to take the application to the next stage'?"

"That takes too many words," he whinged. "'Progress' is faster to type and say."

"You can't use that excuse for 'action'," I countered. "'Act on' has one less letter!"

"But it has a space, so it's still the same number of keystrokes."

I give up.

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