Friday, 30 June 2017

Friday Five: Nouns that are not verbs

And the logical continuation of last week's post...

5 Nouns that are not verbs:
  1. Parent - a parent is a person. A parent (hopefully) loves, nurtures, raises, cares for, looks after, educates, protects, cherishes, tends, nurses, encourages, reprimands and inspires their child. Any one of those words provides meaning and clarification. Interestingly (well, I think so anyway) - 'mother' and 'father' can act as both nouns and verbs. The verb 'mother' apparently means to bring up a child with care and affection. It can also mean to look after someone kindly and protectively, sometimes excessively so. The verb 'father' means to become the father of a child be making a woman pregnant. There seems to be an incompatibility between those words.
  2. Medal/ Podium - if someone trains or works hard and has talent and aptitude, he or she may compete in events and win/ obtain/ achieve/ secure a medal. The medal in question could be gold, silver or bronze, in which case the contestant may win/ obtain/ achieve/ secure a place on the podium in first, second or third place. The person does not 'medal' or 'podium', whatever the commentators and newsreaders may say.
  3. Top Score/ Red Card - another commentating misdemeanour found in many sports is the usage of 'top score' as a verb, when someone has actually scored the most points. This offence is usually committed in basketball, which is American, so what would you expect? It is worse when one hears it from cricket commentators who should know better. When a player is shown a red card in football, we used to hear that they had been sent off; nowadays they are more likely to be said to have been red carded, which used to be something that happened to wool. 
  4. Friend/ Unfriend - I admit this is an interesting one as it has come about as a reaction to a specific technological development. When one sends a friend request on Facebook and is accepted, one is said to have been friended. "I'll friend you on Facebook," say young people when they are seeking cyber social interaction. After a while someone makes a snap judgement which offends the sensibilities of someone else and rather than having a rational discussion which could possibly inform and educate both parties, one 'unfriends' the other by blocking their future banal posts. Friendship is no longer a relationship to be nurtured and grown through good times and bad; it has become something which happens at the touch of a button.
  5. Action - Employing the worst of business-speak, some people say they are going to 'action an item', when they mean they are going to do a thing. I presume this is because an agenda will have items that result in action points as people take on tasks. Once again, there are many words that could be used to inform others of the intention to execute/ carry out/ accomplish/ implement/ enact/ engineer/ administer/ put into practice/ perform or simply 'do'. It seems that business types don't like to use a simple word where a trendy or convoluted one will do. They think it makes them sound more important and intelligent. They should know that the exact opposite is true.

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