It all started with ‘prioritise’ and ‘hospitalise.’ We were shocked by this wanton use of English last century, however as time passes we’re ready to monetise, deleverage and neologise in a way which has defeated my spellchecker.
The sports commentators were in there early; I guess that sports journalism sexes up a boring old match by writing ‘ Ikram topscored in the second innings, and (pass the sick bag,please) ‘ Gerry carded 6 on the 9th hole.’ Then footballers were red and yellow carded. But now it’s all gone mad, mostly in the sporting world – remember in Olympics year how the reporters had to be restrained from saying ‘he/she ‘medalled’ in the final. ‘Pedalled’ being fine – in the velodrome – if you can spell it!
Meanwhile in my profession a patient tells me her son ‘ vomited and diarrhoea’d (how to spell that ?) all night.’ I suppose we’re used to ‘upping the ante’ whatever that might mean. However ‘can the dose be upped’ is less comfortable somehow than ‘can I increase the dose? My colleagues don’t get my grammar sensitivity (‘just chill Bob’) But ‘vomitting’ & ‘inflammed’ – are popular nurse and doctor spelling bloopers ( oh there’s a huge list). Maybe it’s one of those ‘synaesthesia’ problems – people seeing colours when tunes are played in different keys? But I feel sick when I hear these neologisms….. And now from the admindroids ‘ GPs will be ‘mandated’ to refer on dementia patients, whilst civil servants have been ‘tasked with’ raising diagnosis rates.
So now ( and this goes back to last century it’s quite possible to spot in an American paper ‘they were farewelled at the airport and gifted a rose bowl.’ (Oh, spellcheck allows ‘gifted’ and Garrison Keillor spake it on American Public Radio only last week, so maybe it’s OK now, Stateside).’
There’s been a historic mix up over nouns-as-verbs – consider the use
of ‘summonsed.’ Being summoned to court is not the same as being ‘summonsed’ –
presumably being delivered a summons a with legal implications for not
complying. Being summoned from the garden for supper usually carries only modest penalties for non-compliance.
There are plenty of uncontroversial uses of nouns-as-verbs : axing services / braking at stop signs. And although ‘he pedalled to victory’ is OK he ‘topscored’ is just lazy and innovation for its own sake – and to lend the writer some apparently superior skill in his area.
He penned a poem – is in common use ‘she authored a novel’ – is transatlantic newspeak. And where did ‘redacted’ come from might I ask? And in the world of the arts films now ‘première’ in London and then show in the provinces – I think we’re getting lost in the distinction between transitive and intransitive verbs, aren’t we ? I mean the usherette shows you into the cinema, the projectionist shows the film
And where has this craziness come from ? – Across the pond of course! Course we can blame the Americans who not only tolerate but incentivise and now, er, showcase these (bad) practices.
So step foward , Miss Nancy Sinatra who got us all off on the wrong foot in 1969 with ‘These boots were made for walking ‘
You been lying, when you oughtta been truthing !