06 Apr

Legitimate Hate?

This week, the week after Easter 2013, we Brits learn that the Greater Manchester police will now log as hate crimes attacks against Goths – not the ancient tribe that caused problems for the Roman Empire, but usually intelligent and creative people who like to dress in black, with long sweeping coats as seen in my town.
Is it a hate crime in the world of English-language usage to want the elimination of nouns turned into verbs with no spelling or audible alteration?
lever, I taught in Physics lessons decades ago, allows a mechanical advantage to be used when applying a force to one end of an inflexible rod which lies over a fulcrum that is nearer the other end of the rod than where you apply your force. Think about it…

320px-Palanca-ejemplo

Now, one can lever something, so the noun doubles as a verb. That leads to another noun – leverage – which is what is gained by using a lever.
In the world of finance, leverage has become a verb. One can leverage a situation to get a bigger advantage by leveraging whatever financiers leverage.
I hate that verb.
It is clumsy, totally non-euphonious and spreading like ivy over a beautiful tree trunk.
Today I came across a couple of articles in the New York Times, whose web site I visit occasionally. Two article discuss the verbing of nouns and the nouning of verbs.
If you have a shred of sympathy for my particular hatred, Henry Hitchings’ articles are “a good read.” A prejudice shared is a prejudice enjoyed.

6 April, 2013