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#176136 04/21/08 04:35 PM
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I agree completely with Anu about the clumsy practice of creating verbs from nouns by adding "ize," but almost as bad are people who use nouns such as "impact" and "access" as verbs. The latest noun to suffer such misuse is "transition." Whatever happened to "move?"

Last edited by bilkirk; 04/21/08 04:36 PM.
bilkirk #176149 04/21/08 08:29 PM
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Why do people hate verbing nouns so much? And why can't you talk about verbing nouns without using the noun verb as a verb?

latishya #176151 04/21/08 08:36 PM
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Why do people hate verbing nouns so much?

I've never figured this out. English has been doing it since at least the Middle English period (1100–1450).

And why can't you talk about verbing nouns without using the noun verb as a verb?

You can call them denominal verbs if, like me, you were so inclined. There are deadjectival verbs, too, and deverbal nouns.


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zmjezhd #176158 04/21/08 11:55 PM
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 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
You can call them denominal verbs if, like me, you were so inclined. There are deadjectival verbs, too

But then they might be confused with dead jectival verbs mightn't they? \:D

bilkirk #176159 04/22/08 12:12 AM
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 Originally Posted By: bilkirk
The latest noun to suffer such misuse is "transition." Whatever happened to "move?"


I don't object to 'verbing' nouns per se, but this seems to be a case of unnecessary obfuscation. It's like the amusing propensity of those police who can't seem to speak to the mass media without talking about "a deceased male person" when they mean "a dead man" or telling you they have "neutralized a potentially viable device" when they mean they defused a bomb.

In my opinion good English usage avoids adding more syllables just to make your speech sound more impressive. Keep it simple unless the more exotic word actually adds meaning or emphasis. Only use a big word when a smaller word won't do. If you can use 'change' or 'move' to mean the same thing, then say 'change' or 'move' in preference to 'transition.' But there may be contexts where 'transition' conveys a sense that those words or other synonyms don't.

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The Pook #176163 04/22/08 12:43 AM
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But then they might be confused with dead jectival verbs mightn't they?

Was you ever bit by a dead bee? Yes, death jackals.


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zmjezhd #176165 04/22/08 12:55 AM
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You gotta be careful of dead bees...

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I agree completely that incentivize is an awkward, unnecessary word, when we have the perfectly good incent.

Faldage #176172 04/22/08 01:28 AM
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incentivize

Same with jeopard and jeopardize (link).


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You gotta be careful of dead bees...

You're all right, (link).


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zmjezhd #176187 04/22/08 07:21 AM
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 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
You gotta be careful of dead bees...

You're all right, (link).


But can a dead jeopard change its spots? Or transitionize them even?

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The Pook #176201 04/22/08 11:05 AM
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OK, Nuncle. How long has -ize (or even that upstart, -ise) been productive in forming verbs from other parts of speech?

Faldage #176207 04/22/08 12:42 PM
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How long has -ize (or even that upstart, -ise) been productive in forming verbs from other parts of speech?

I'm not sure, but, according to MWDEU (link). it started to annoy people in 1591 (link).

 Quote:
[Thomas Nashe] was none too politely tweaking the noses of his "reprehenders, whom he was apparently pleased to have nettled with his verb coinages ending in -ize. Ever since, it has been possible to raise hackles with newly coined verbs that end in this suffix."


Seems to me younger than the verbed noun route.


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Faldage #176208 04/22/08 01:15 PM
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 Originally Posted By: Faldage
OK, Nuncle. How long has -ize (or even that upstart, -ise)


British people believe it is -ize that is the American upstart, -ise being the British original. Whether that is true or not is irrelevant, since they will continue to believe it anyway! Americans are the greatest corrupters of the Queen's English you know!

latishya #176211 04/22/08 01:43 PM
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>Why do people hate verbing nouns so much?

Because verbing wierds language.;-)

J

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 Originally Posted By: Deerhaven
>Why do people hate verbing nouns so much?

Because verbing wierds language.;-)

J


Weird is one of the weirdest words in the language I reckon. The longer you look at it the weirder it gets.

Ironic statement really, because weird comes from the OE wyrd meaning 'destiny' or 'fate' - so to weird language could mean to destine it. Verbing shapes new words and therefore helps the language on to its new destiny.

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The Pook #176213 04/22/08 02:28 PM
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you're weirding me out...

The Pook #176214 04/22/08 02:31 PM
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 Originally Posted By: The Pook
Americans are the greatest corrupters of the Queen's English you know!

We won; we have no queen; I will corruptize all I want...

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 Originally Posted By: twosleepy
 Originally Posted By: The Pook
Americans are the greatest corrupters of the Queen's English you know!

We won; we have no queen; I will corruptize all I want...

We do have a Queen but no English, though we do the same thing; verbing and nouning is sort of a fashion. All things come to pass. (like f.i. bulldozeren)

zmjezhd #176223 04/22/08 04:27 PM
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The one that really bothers me is the current use of the verb to grow. e.g. a plant grows - that's fine; a business grows - that's fine; but I am going to grow this business - that sounds terrible to my ears.

JanetM #176227 04/22/08 05:56 PM
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if we don't grow our business, we're going to continue to office in this same small space.

-joe (cubicled) friday

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 Originally Posted By: Deerhaven
>Why do people hate verbing nouns so much?

Because verbing wierds language.;-)

J


welcome, deer!


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JanetM #176240 04/22/08 11:05 PM
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 Originally Posted By: JanetM
The one that really bothers me is the current use of the verb to grow. e.g. a plant grows - that's fine; a business grows - that's fine; but I am going to grow this business - that sounds terrible to my ears.


Really? Why? "I am going to grow this business" may be overly optimistic or boastful, but it's not grammatically dodgy is it?

I can't remember a time when it wasn't used that way. The OED defines it as both an intransitive and a transitive verb. There's nothing strange about it having an object.
"v.t. produce (plants, fruit, wool, etc) by cultivation, bring forth, let (beard etc.), develop..." - quite appropriate to use for a business I would have thought?

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The Pook #176245 04/23/08 12:55 AM
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What The Pook said.

If corn can grow and you can grow corn why can't you grow a business if a business can grow?

The Pook #176250 04/23/08 03:09 AM
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British people believe it is -ize that is the American upstart

Weird lot those Britons. Especially when it comes to the mother tongue. The suffix -ize has a zed in the original Greek. BTW, the OED opted for the form -ize. Good enough for Mr Murray, and it's goodenough for me.

British English has no claim to being older than USan English or the Oz/Kiwi versions. The Cockney and the Queen are just as distant from Caedmon and Bede as I am.


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BranShea #176252 04/23/08 03:13 AM
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We do have a Queen but no English

Many Dutch speak English because it's easier on the throat pre-morning-coffee. Dutch and Hebrew are the international languages of love: all those velar, glottal, and pharyngeal fricatives. I have been mistaken for French, German, and Italian in the countries where those languages are spoken before I opened my mouth. The Netherlands is the only place where folks seem to speak to somebody they don't personally know in English. Weird.

[Fixed typo.]

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zmjezhd #176253 04/23/08 03:16 AM
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a zed in the original Greek I thought she was Canadian...

The Pook #176254 04/23/08 07:36 AM
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Technically I concede that you are correct, but it still jars. Possibly this is a reflection of a generation gap as it is a relatively new use of the verb in this way, and I am just reacting against this type of business jargon.

JanetM #176255 04/23/08 07:49 AM
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 Originally Posted By: JanetM
Possibly this is a reflection of a generation gap as it is a relatively new use of the verb in this way,


That really is a big generation gap given that the OED has the first recorded instance of this sort of usage - "To cause to increase, to enlarge." dated at 1481. If you learned English before that, then I understand why it would seem relatively new to you.

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zmjezhd #176262 04/23/08 12:03 PM
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It's pure indolence that makes the Dutch speak English.
So we won't have to help the English (and other foreigners) get on with "all those velar, glottal, and pharyngeal fricatives".

That's why foreigners hardly get a chance to learn it.

JanetM #176279 04/24/08 02:19 AM
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Well, Janet, I firmly agree with you, and in fact put a big long harangue about that very phrase [shudder] on here somewhere, some time ago. Can't be bothered trying to find it, and certainly am not going to re-create it. But while a business can grow, it cannot be grown. [stamping foot e]

Jackie #176280 04/24/08 02:31 AM
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 Originally Posted By: Jackie
But while a business can grow, it cannot be grown. [stamping foot e]

Are you speaking grammatically or economically? If the former, that assertion has already been disproved. If the latter, why do businessess bother employing CEOs and Managing Directors and paying them millions to grow them? Are you arguing that a business grows randomly by itself, out of the control of its owners? That it may be said reflexively to grow by itself but may not be said passively to have been grown by someone? (groan!)

Or are you saying you would like to use another word for grow when someone grows their business? Like expand or enlarge or diversify or horizontally integrate? \:D

Or are you just being a troublesome Confederate rebel? \:o

The Pook #176283 04/24/08 05:00 AM
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>> Or are you just being a troublesome Confederate rebel?

Ho,hey! This reminds me of some of them confederates rebels or what you call them that have grown DEAR to me!(Groawn!)

zmjezhd #176284 04/24/08 05:19 AM
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 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
We do have a Queen but no English

The Netherlands is the only place where folks seem to speak to somebody they don't personally know in English. Weird.
[Fixed typo.]
P.S. Post on this one:correction
We speak English only to people we don't know. As soon as we know them we help them with all the fricatives there possibly are.

There's a little book:
Xenophobe's guide to the Dutch by Rodney Bolt. Pretty accurate. In sixty light pages you know all the good and the bads.And funny as well.
(on checking the edition I see there is one Americans too, and one seperate for California (why?))It's time I bought the one about America I think. (No guide on Aussies.(Mr. Pook!))
I think it's about time I bought these two too.(24 in total)

Guide : this







Faldage #176285 04/24/08 05:24 AM
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I think culture as a verb needs some friendly users (usagers?) to help it get away from Petri dishes and oyster farms now and then.

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I would submit that in the phrase 'to grow something' AHD's first definition of the transitive verb, '[t]o cause to grow,' fits businesses better than it does tulips. The tulip grower does nothing to cause the tulips to grow. He merely sets up the conditions that allow the tulip to grow by themselves. A businessman puts a lot of effort into causing a business to grow.

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 Originally Posted By: Faldage
I would submit that in the phrase 'to grow something' AHD's first definition of the transitive verb, '[t]o cause to grow,' fits businesses better than it does tulips. The tulip grower does nothing to cause the tulips to grow. He merely sets up the conditions that allow the tulip to grow by themselves. A businessman puts a lot of effort into causing a business to grow.
You think so?

INTRANSITIVE VERB: 1. To increase in size by a natural process .
Many companies do not grow by natural processes, as we may well be aware of these days. Yes, a lot of effort and artistry is put into causing artificial growth of businesses. Quick growth, quick sales, quick money. Who cares?

TRANSITIVE VERB: 1. To cause to grow; raise: grow tulips.
The tulip business, where a lot of effort is put into also, is threatened lately by the building maffs, who want the tulip raising business to move away so they can take the land behind the dunes for building luxury housing, stealing the last open parts in the already overpopulated West of the country.
Ground that has the only type of soil tulips thrive on.

(tulips don't grow by themselves unless they grow in in the wild in the Middle East)

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A businessman puts a lot of effort into causing a business to grow. Yeah, but--a business has to get money from somewhere; he can't make that money come in any more than a tulip grower can make the bulbs flower. Both call for setting up optimum conditions, and that's as far as it can go. (Other than illegally forcing someone to give money, which makes it likely the business will die at some point anyway.)

And, Pookie--I don't care 'bout no grammar, here: it is WRONG to say grow a business! So quit baggin' me! [crossthreading e] \:\)

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it is WRONG to say grow a business!

It is wrong to say it is wrong to say "to grow a business". It's one of the better turns of phrase associated with the business world. The metaphor works for me and Faldo. It doesn't for you. La!


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zmjezhd #176304 04/24/08 03:39 PM
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yeah, I'm afraid Jackie, that I like it, too.

but then I like almost anything with the word "grow" in it!

;\)


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"grow"

Two interesting uses of the verb to grow: (1) intransitive of non-vegetable things: "While now we talk as once we talk'd / Of men and minds, the dust of change, / The days that grow to something strange, / In walking as of old we walk'd." Tennyson In Memoriam A H H lxxi.11 (link); (2) transitive of non-living things "Whan dauid had regned vii. yere in Ebron he grewe [French creut] and amended moche this cyte [Jerusalem]" Caxton Godfrey clxix.250.


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Jackie #176308 04/24/08 05:52 PM
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 Originally Posted By: Jackie
... businessman ... tulip grower ... Both call for setting up optimum conditions, and that's as far as it can go.

I'm wondering how to get into this sort of business that runs itself. Also, where can I buy these tulip bulbs that are self-fertilizing, self-watering, self-separating/replanting, and defend themselves from squirrels? Are they next to the self-pruning roses? ;-)

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zmjezhd #176313 04/24/08 09:05 PM
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 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
"grow"

(2) transitive of non-living things "Whan dauid had regned vii. yere in Ebron he grewe [French creut] and amended moche this cyte [Jerusalem]" Caxton Godfrey clxix.250.


This was the citation I found in the OED dated 1481 that I mentioned earlier, but they didn't have the other one.

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 Originally Posted By: BranShea

The tulip business, where a lot of effort is put into also, is threatened lately by the building maffs, who want the tulip raising business to move away so they can take the land behind the dunes for building luxury housing, stealing the last open parts in the already overpopulated West of the country.
Ground that has the only type of soil tulips thrive on.


So you're not going to grow tulips unless you grow your tulip business.

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 Originally Posted By: Jackie
And, Pookie--I don't care 'bout no grammar, here: it is WRONG to say grow a business! So quit baggin' me! [crossthreading e] \:\)

Yes but I still don't understand what the answer is to my earlier question. Do you think the concept is wrong - namely that you CAN'T grow a business, or just that using the word 'grow' to describe what you are doing when you make a business get larger is wrong? And if the latter, what term would you use?

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Ok, ok. The latter. Somebody can make a business grow, or develop it, or increase it; but not grow it!
(zmjezhd, the stamping foot indicates my childishness and irrationalness and stubbornness in insisting that things I don't like aren't so; for ex. that orientate is not a real word. This is usually reserved for things that don't really matter; but do NOT let me hear anybody say Antartica! )

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 Originally Posted By: Jackie
insisting that things I don't like aren't so; for ex. that orientate is not a real word.

My dictionary says that it is a transitive verb with the same meaning as the verb to orient. But I wasn't quite clear whether you were insisting that it IS a real word or insisting that it ain't no such thing?

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 Originally Posted By: The Pook
[quote=Jackie insisting that it ain't no such thing?


I think that's what she's saying.

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yes, that's what she's saying. and it's been said often in these fora. here's one thread in which her opinion is only alluded to, but I think etaoin summed up the general feeling rather nicely. it's at the bottom.

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Interesting word. Can be used in different ways, some of which sound more "right" than others. I agree that to say "I am orientated towards..." sounds 'clunky' as etaoin puts it. But the past participle "orientated" doesn't sound as bad for some reason, especially with the prefix dis- added. Disorientated sounds better than disoriented to me. But the present participle sounds better (to me) as disorienting. And if you can't have orientate, how would you form the adjective or noun from it? What would you call an Orientation Day for new students at a College or University? An Orience Day? Doesn't have the same ring to it.

Interesting to consider the etymology of the word. I presume it comes from aligning everything with the rising sun.

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 Originally Posted By: Faldage

So you're not going to grow tulips unless you grow your tulip business.

Quietly continue to weave tulips in between stamping feet and dogmatics (nouned adjective) to say to Faldage that growing tulips in a garden takes effort,labor,care. Right now my orientation is towards enjoying and admiring them as they are about to open their flowers. But after the bloom the bulbs have to be taken out at the right time and stored in a dry dark place till coming autum.

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 Originally Posted By: BranShea
 Originally Posted By: Faldage

So you're not going to grow tulips unless you grow your tulip business.

Quietly continue to weave tulips in between stamping feet and dogmatics (nouned adjective) to say to Faldage that growing tulips in a garden takes effort,labor,care. Right now my orientation is towards enjoying and admiring them as they are about to open their flowers. But after the bloom the bulbs have to be taken out at the right time and stored in a dry dark place till coming autum.


Yes, growing tulips takes effort, labor, care, but all that effort will be for naught if the tulips don't have the genetic makeup to grow. Try it with plastic tulips sometime. A business, on the other hand, takes effort, labor, care too. And you could do it with something that would never grow on its own. We have entire businesses that are based on selling things that are thrown away immediately upon the customer's opening the packege they came in.

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 Originally Posted By: The Pook
Disorientated sounds better than disoriented to me.


eww.


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Do not some people call that 'waste'? Aren't there many businesses that are entirely based on producing potential waste?
Or potential nothingness?
Oops, heading for a sensitive domain?

latishya #176348 04/25/08 03:42 PM
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This was the citation I found in the OED dated 1481 that I mentioned earlier, but they didn't have the other one.

Yes, I found both citations in my handy OED, first edition, microprint. Sorry, I stepped on your citation. It seems to me if a 15th century translator-printer can tell us that King David grew a whole city, why can't some CEO tell us that she'll be growing a business?


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BranShea #176364 04/25/08 07:14 PM
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 Originally Posted By: BranShea
Do not some people call that 'waste'?


Well, my example was actually plastic trash bags, but call them what you will.

zmjezhd #176365 04/25/08 07:15 PM
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On a related topic: I heard an ad on TV today for a company that says it breeds its own pepper seeds. I don't think I've heard breed used before except for the animal world. Have the rest of you heard it for plants, too?

zmjezhd #176369 04/25/08 08:39 PM
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 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
it is WRONG to say grow a business!

It is wrong to say it is wrong to say "to grow a business". It's one of the better turns of phrase associated with the business world. The metaphor works for me and Faldo. It doesn't for you. La!


Jackie is right this time. It sounds pompous, as typical CEO-speak, like "a new paradigm of leveraging synergies". [There is a less polite term for this sort of speech.]


ÅΓª╥┐↕§
Jackie #176370 04/25/08 08:44 PM
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 Originally Posted By: Jackie
Ok, ok. The latter. Somebody can make a business grow, or develop it, or increase it; but not grow it!
(zmjezhd, the stamping foot indicates my childishness and irrationalness and stubbornness in insisting that things I don't like aren't so; for ex. that orientate is not a real word. This is usually reserved for things that don't really matter; but do NOT let me hear anybody say Antartica! )


"Orientate" is NOT a real word. It is a stupidism. [For less polite characterization, note the colour.]

Aramis #176375 04/26/08 12:15 AM
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Aramis!!

Aramis #176380 04/26/08 02:04 AM
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Grow as a transitive verb in a business context is usually well understood and is no more likely than any synonym to offend with perceived connotations. It could be used in pompous statements, as could expand or any other synonym. Alone, neither pomposity nor any other quality of the verb's user would make its usage wrong.

Anyone hoping to start or grow a business might benefit from carefully cultivating business and personal relationships, or so the business networking formularizers tell us.

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Anyone hoping to start or grow a business might benefit from carefully cultivating business and personal relationships Hey, that's right! Cultivating certainly fits both uses. But I still don't like the phrase.

Jackie #176400 04/26/08 04:31 PM
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Bingo! I was trying to make a reply . I thought it was the new
LEGAL!!!! Vista on my new computer that confronted me with surprises.
Woewh! This computer is no larger than a medium large dictionary.
Soundless, smooth. Never thought I might ever get lyrical about something technical.
 Quote:
But I still don't like the phrase.

Grow grow grow your boat gently down the stream,
Merrily , merrily , merrily merrily,
Life is but a dream.

BranShea #176403 04/26/08 05:03 PM
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BranShea #176406 04/27/08 04:47 AM
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 Originally Posted By: BranShea
Bingo! I was trying to make a reply . I thought it was the new
LEGAL!!!! Vista on my new computer that confronted me with surprises.
Woewh! This computer is no larger than a medium large dictionary.
Soundless, smooth. Never thought I might ever get lyrical about something technical.
Grow grow grow your boat gently down the stream,
Merrily , merrily , merrily merrily,
Life is but a dream.

Give it time. Vista has a habit of sneaking up behind you and biting you on the bum. Or taking you "up the creek without a paddle."

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\:D tsuwm you obviously have far too little to do!

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Here it is again. No Pook, this is not Vista's doing , this is tsuwm who has grown a post.
I've looked for hidden clues in the large white space,
cause I can't find the obvious in this and maybe
what we see is just what we see.
It reminds me of a legendary cinnamon bun.


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About a decade ago, an engineer at SGI wrote a short program (in C) that generated (from an editable list) buzzword bingo cards. When we had day-long offsites to raise the spirits of the poor IT workers, some of us would print off a bunch of cards and play. There's nothing quite like a huge auditorium full of people listening to some marketing VP drone on about synergistic foo-fa-rah and hearing a "bingo" ring out somewhere in the audience. Ah, those where the halcyon pre-bubble-burst days of huge IPOs and precious little content in mahogany row speeches.


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zmjezhd #176422 04/27/08 05:57 PM
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Buzzword Bingo

hence

IBM buzzword bingo

-joe (but not quite that much time) friday

bilkirk #176427 04/27/08 08:14 PM
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Ultimately we run into a problem I see once in a while (mercifully) in software design: one of infinite recursion, viz.--if we accept the premises that 1) any noun can be "verbed," and 2) any verb can be similarly "nouned," then each node's successor on the resulting family tree may be re-defined as its complement (noun-to-verb OR verb-to-noun).

While this practice may seem on the surface to be innocent and acceptable to most, consider it at its most potentially insidious: if a verb is "nouned" so be it, and the complement, a noun is "verbed," likewise. So far, we're still in Pangloss's best of all possible worlds.

Now take a verb, having been "nouned," and re-verb it. (And never mind the side trip about "reverberation.")

Or conversely, a noun, having been "verbed," and re-noun it. (And never mind the side trip about the state of being "reknowned").

The possibilities are delightfully absurd, perhaps enough to drive a Zen student through this koan to enlightenment.

As a machine having to process such constructs, or as an engineer having to design such a machine (to parse these and assign discrete meaning to them), the problem emerges: the process can go on infinitely, referring to (or should I say "referencing") itself with no specific end defined.

For stack-based machines, this infinite recursion will ultimately result in a "stack overflow" condition (exhaustion of available memory allocated for the stack). For register-based machines, it will ultimately result in the an "out of memory" condition (subtly different, exhaustion of all available free memory).

This is the reason I usually give for avoiding such delightful absurdities: I don't want to run out of available resources deciphering what this (potentially unknown recursively defined) new term actually means.

DTs
P.S. Apologies for not citing examples: the solution is left as an exercise to the reader--simply read any statement released by any government, military, corporate, "education," or other institutional official--such examples abound.

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 Originally Posted By: Delirium Tremens

Now take a verb, having been "nouned," and re-verb it. (And never mind the side trip about "reverberation.")

Or conversely, a noun, having been "verbed," and re-noun it. (And never mind the side trip about the state of being "reknowned").


I'm sure Nuncle Z can come up with some real world examples of this phenomenon.

 Originally Posted By: Delirium Tremens

As a machine having to process such constructs, or as an engineer having to design such a machine (to parse these and assign discrete meaning to them), the problem emerges: the process can go on infinitely, referring to (or should I say "referencing") itself with no specific end defined.

For stack-based machines, this infinite recursion will ultimately result in a "stack overflow" condition (exhaustion of available memory allocated for the stack). For register-based machines, it will ultimately result in the an "out of memory" condition (subtly different, exhausting of all available free memory).


Fortunately the human brain doesn't have the limitations of your typical finite-state machine. Normally, if a nouned verb is re-verbed, the resulting verb will have some significantly different meaning from the original verb, one of the verbs will fall out of use, or they will become local variants. The same would be true for verbed nouns that have been re-nouned.

Oh, and the correct terms are 'reverbificatationize' and 'renounificationatingize.'

BranShea #176436 04/28/08 01:33 AM
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 Originally Posted By: BranShea
It reminds me of a legendary cinnamon bun.


Huh? Now who's speaking in code?

Faldage #176446 04/28/08 01:15 PM
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Yeow!!

Perhaps Monty Python summarized my reaction best in "Holy Grail:"

"Run away, run away!!!!!"

The Pook #176447 04/28/08 01:19 PM
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"dead jectival:" another mondegreene (sp?)? Got to love these...
--DTs

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Z can come up with some real world examples of this phenomenon.

Of words that have changed lexical category more than once through zero morphology? Can't off the top of my head, and I agree with you that something would've changed along the trail, e.g., meaning, form.

I think it's not an issue in NLP (natural language processing). I suppose it depends if one thinks that part of speech-ness is some property inherent in a word or whether, as many would think, that it is how a word is used syntactically that determines what it is. The former handles words like love (noun and verb) which not even peevologists find anomalous owing to its antiquity, but the latter would seem a more robust way to develop a word tagger. (It should also be easy enough to rewrite any tail-recursive function as an iterative one, and in writing any function one should take into account infinite recursion or endless loops.)


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 Originally Posted By: Delirium Tremens
Yeow!!

Perhaps Monty Python summarized my reaction best in "Holy Grail:"

"Run away, run away!!!!!"

TIM: Well, that's no ordinary rabbit!
ARTHUR: Ohh.
TIM: That's the most foul, cruel, and bad-tempered rodent you ever set eyes on!
ROBIN: You tit! I soiled my armour I was so scared!
TIM: Look, that rabbit's got a vicious streak a mile wide! It's a killer!

Monty Python anything tops my list! I love their turns of phrases, most especially the many ways to say "dead" in the parrot sketch... :0)

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 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
...not even peevologists...

Nice coinage, but technically shouldn't they be peevophiles, those who love to peeve (hey there's another good verbing of a noun!) - I mean, you yourself are a peevologist aren't you? That is, in the sense of being someone who is an expert or commentator on peeves and 'peevers' and all things peevish?

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peevologists

It's not my coinage, but I think of peevologists are those who collect peeves.


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 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
peevologists

It's not my coinage, but I think of peevologists are those who collect peeves.

Their own, or those of others? If the latter, then you're definitely a peevologist! \:\)

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Their own, or those of others?

A difficult question to answer. Most of the usage shibboleths of the modern grammar nazi (aka prescriptivist, peevologist, grammar maven) are not their own, but come from other equally ill-informed pseudo-grammarians. For example, somebody like Dryden comes along and decides ex cathedra that sentences (which he never really get around to defining) must never end with a preposition. Even the Bishop Lowth found this fiat a bit too much and in his seminal peevological work, A Short Introduction to English Grammar, (whence many other modern-day usage factoids) he penned:

 Quote:
The Preposition is often separated from the Relative which it governs, and joined to the Verb at the end of the Sentence, or of some member of it: as, “Horace is an author, whom I am delighted with.” “The world is too well bred to shock authors with a truth, which generally their booksellers are the first that inform them of.” This is an Idiom which our language is strongly inclined to; it prevails in common conversation, and suits very well with the familiar style in writing; but the placing of the Preposition before the Relative is more graceful, as well as more perspicuous; and agrees much better with the solemn and elevated Style.


NB, the sentence starting "this is an Idiom" and ending with to before the semi-colon. Old Bob had a sense of humor that Dryden and his ilk were lacking. But there is hope. Samuel Johnson started out editing his magnificent dictionary as a prescriptivist, but by the end he had pretty much become more of a descriptivist.


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Examples want we? Well, the same empty head that conjured "orientate", no doubt from "orientation", could easily produce "personificate". Then once it is embraced by the coddling apologists and put in a dictionary it can make its contribution to "retardify" the language.

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I have always been suspicious of the word orientation itself. The past passive participle of Latin orior is ortus, so the abstract nominal form should be ortion. But it is funny how one group gets its its up when you verb a noun, as happened with orient, and another comes down pseudo-medievally on back formations such as orientate. The OED (1st brick and mortar version) lists orientate without censure and provides citations from the mid 19th century. Surely long enough to allow its naturalization. I like the hue and heft of orientate but seldom use it unmockingly. But anything that stokes the peevological bonfires is A-OK with me.


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Aramis #176511 04/30/08 09:07 PM
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\:\) "retardify"

Aramis #176512 04/30/08 10:32 PM
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 Originally Posted By: Aramis
Then once it is embraced by the coddling apologists and put in a dictionary it can make its contribution to "retardify" the language.

Isn't that a Bushism? I hardly can listen to the man without wanting to tear out my prescriptivist hair... but wouldn't he be the poster child darling of descriptivists? He personifies that make-it-up-as-you-go free-wheeling linguism.... :0)

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but wouldn't he be the poster child darling of descriptivists? He personifies that make-it-up-as-you-go free-wheeling linguism

This was too much for a soi-disant descriptivist, such as moi, to let go by without an observation. The prescriptivists wouldn't know a real grammatical rule if it walked up and bit them on their tukhes. A descriptivist determines what the rules governing language are by describing how people use said language. Prescriptivists make up rules, which more often than not they themselves don't follow (link, link, and link), or borrow them from some other grammar hooligans. The latter use faulty logic, ignore history, and just get the facts plain wrong.


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 Originally Posted By: twosleepy
but wouldn't he be the poster child darling of descriptivists? He personifies that make-it-up-as-you-go free-wheeling linguism.... :0)


This is a classic example of the misconception that descriptivists accept any usage as correct as long as one person has used it. This is probably the best refutation (or should that be refution?) of that idea that I have run across.

Aramis #176517 05/01/08 01:29 AM
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 Originally Posted By: Aramis
Examples want we? Well, the same empty head that conjured "orientate", no doubt from "orientation", could easily produce "personificate". Then once it is embraced by the coddling apologists and put in a dictionary it can make its contribution to "retardify" the language.

...or how about pontificate, which is what peevologists on both sides of the grammatical fence are doing in superabundantiation!

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 Originally Posted By: twosleepy
 Originally Posted By: Aramis
Then once it is embraced by the coddling apologists and put in a dictionary it can make its contribution to "retardify" the language.

Isn't that a Bushism? I hardly can listen to the man without wanting to tear out my prescriptivist hair... but wouldn't he be the poster child darling of descriptivists? He personifies that make-it-up-as-you-go free-wheeling linguism.... :0)

...which is nowhere near the definition of descriptivism.
Bushisms are simply, well, Bushisms. They are most noticeable not so much for their grammatical errors as for their logical errors. In that sense he is much more aligned with the prescriptivist camp.
...what dzhaymz & faldy said.

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I'm sure you all realize my tongue was firmly cheek-planted, and that I was indulging in a little pot-stirring today... But having said that, I think Pullum got this exactly right, Fal:

"But there had better be a third position, because these two extreme ones are both utterly insane."

Most of the contributors on this website seem to represent that "third position", which IMHO is a good thing. As in life, black and white are rare, and the many shades of gray predominate. :0)

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From the third one of your link , link and link
"I do go by sounds as well as by grammar." Sounds good to me.

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 Originally Posted By: zmjezhd
I have always been suspicious of the word orientation itself. ...


A. actually did ponder that, wondering why "oriention" is not standing in, just as "workic" should be. There should be considerable lamention over this.

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I'd have thought that a peevologist is one who practices peevology, being merely the art or science of peeving.

-joe (adding another peeve to the collection) friday

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So, someone who collects peeves would be a peevemeister? peevehead? peeveophile? :0)

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peevology

English anthology (calqued in Latin as florilegium) 'a collection of epigrams' < Greek ανθολογια (anthologia). So, philology can only mean 'the study of love'? It means something more along the lines of 'love of words'. Compound words are almost as tricky as any other kind of collocation: ancient history teacher anybody?

beppo beppino (the grammatical cynic) venerd́

[Derhotacized one word.]

Last edited by zmjezhd; 05/02/08 05:34 PM.

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>So, philology can only mean 'the study of love'? It means something more along the lines of 'lover of words'

shirley, beppo, you meant here philologist for 'lover of words'; these things aren't *that* tricky. ;-)

-joe (pettifogulizing) friday

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 Originally Posted By: tsuwm
I'd have thought that a peevologist is one who practices peevology, being merely the art or science of peeving.


Literally it must mean 'the study of peeves'. Some tactical display equipment is said to have 'symbology', which looks like variously shaped markers but is really the study of symbol [even gets a spell-check hit].

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symbology
  • Webster's 1913: "The art of expressing by symbols." (link).
  • A-H: "1. The study or interpretation of symbols or symbolism. 2. The use of symbols." (link).
  • Merriam-Webster's online: " 1: the art of expression by symbols; 2: the study or interpretation of symbols; 3: a system of symbols." (link).
  • COED online: "1. the study or use of symbols. 2. symbols collectively." (link).

The resistance of even an uncommon word to a single meaning is refreshing.


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 Originally Posted By: Aramis
Literally it must mean 'the study of peeves'.

That was why I thought the word applied more correctly to zmjezhd than to those who express the peeves in the first place, the peevers or peevophiles. He certainly is a professor of peevology in that sense, as he collects, studies, analyses and critiques various peeves.

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peeves

For those who object to back-formations, such as orientate and burgle, nota bene that peeve is such a one from peevish.

Regarding the ubi nasus Sphingis est? of a parallel thread, I am reminded of the strange little man who collects noses in Greenaway's masterful Belly of the Architect. A short history of the word peevologist and its meaning(s): (link).


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Speaking of verbing nouns, what do folk think of "re-partnered" - a word I came across today in a newspaper article in the sentence:
"She said there was strong evidence to suggest women with low desire regained their interest in sex when they re-partnered."

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Don't know why you bring this up, but I would suggest you could change divorce to de-partner. Instead of divorced one could be ex-partnered.

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 Originally Posted By: BranShea
Don't know why you bring this up, but I would suggest you could change divorce to de-partner. Instead of divorced one could be ex-partnered.

I just thought it was an interesting neologism.
Yes, and maybe if you decided to stay married in a miserable union, you could be said to be "dyspartnered" or "malpartnered"?

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Unlike some neologisms it is at least clear in meaning.

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 Originally Posted By: Zed
Unlike some neologisms it is at least clear in meaning.


Not that that would mollify the proscriptivists.

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 Originally Posted By: Faldage
 Originally Posted By: Zed
Unlike some neologisms it is at least clear in meaning.


Not that that would mollify the proscriptivists.

...that would be the ones who say you should never say anything you haven't said before, right?

The Pook #177134 05/24/08 12:00 PM
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 Originally Posted By: The Pook
 Originally Posted By: Faldage
 Originally Posted By: Zed
Unlike some neologisms it is at least clear in meaning.


Not that that would mollify the proscriptivists.

...that would be the ones who say you should never say anything you haven't said before, right?


Seems that way sometimes.

Faldage #177202 06/02/08 08:26 PM
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 Originally Posted By: Faldage

...This[/url] is probably the best refutation (or should that be refution?) of that idea that I have run across.


That is an excellent point in that 'refution' would at least reduce the risk of being subjected to 'refutate' often enough for the apologists to put it in a dictionary.

zmjezhd #177922 07/03/08 08:32 PM
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Don't you think that a modicum of verbification has added richness to our language? I think what people object to are today's countless "verbifications of the moment". I'm talking about the tendency to turn a noun into a verb in order to sound a) importantly busy and b)importantly trendy.

I am totally inconsistent in my views on this subject. I happily microwave food, access records, and go antiquing. Professionally, I have been known to say that a company headquarters in_____ or has partnered with _____, but I am somewhat ashamed of these crimes against grammar. I simply must draw the line at limosining somewhere, re-purposing something, gifting someone, or architecting a business plan.

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Hello Lady
I agree, the richness of English is in large part due to it's flexibility, so is the messiness of English.
every blessing carries a curse.

Zed #177994 07/05/08 04:14 PM
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Curb, date, elbow, head, interview, panic, park, service, feature, chair, loan, office and contact were all nouns that were later verbed. Invite, command, meld and request were verbs that were later nouned. Past was an adjective that was later nouned. Clean and obsolete were adjectives that were later verbed.

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Don't you think that a modicum of verbification has added richness to our language?

Folks use language to communicate. In doing so, they tend to use and mold their language to that purpose. It's a fairly normal phenomenon. English, like other fairly analytic languages (link), can easily use a word of one lexical category (link) as a different one (e.g., verbing nouns, nouning verbs) without resorting to affixation as in more synthetic languages (link), such as Latin. The tendency of some to abhor this natural and common linguistic process is more likely a transference of the general disdaining of novelty in the vocabulary, coupled with a loathing on any hint of polysemy. (And welcome to the board. I took a look at your blog, but you may want to fix the link.)


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but, lest we forget:
Verbing weirds language. - Hobbes

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 Originally Posted By: tsuwm
but, lest we forget:
Verbing weirds language. - Hobbes


Was that Hobbes or Calvin said that?

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I think you're right, but it was Hobbes (as usual) that made the telling point:

 Code:
Calvin:  I like to verb words.
Hobbes:  What?
Calvin:  I take nouns and adjectives and use them as 
         verbs. Remember when 'access' was a thing? 
         Now, it's something you do. It got verbed. 
         Verbing weirds language.
Hobbes:  Maybe we can eventually make language a 
         complete impediment to understanding.
 -Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes

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 Originally Posted By: tsuwm

 Code:
Hobbes:  Maybe we can eventually make language a 
         complete impediment to understanding.
 -Bill Watterson, Calvin and Hobbes


Hey, why not? We invented language so we could lie anyway.

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twosleepy #178147 07/12/08 10:05 AM
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If y'all like verbing nouns, y'all'll love nouning verbs.

Go ahead, read all the comments.

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