Editing for Grammarphobes: Verbing
Sometimes I think advertising is the bane of the English language. You might recall my rant awhile back about Chuck E. Cheese’s “Everybody say cheese is funner” lyric in its jingle. Well, here’s another linguistic abomination.
A local carpet company is now urging potential customers to “floor the house.”
Floor the house? What is that supposed to mean? One cannot wow an inanimate object. But that isn’t even what the spokesperson is talking about. The company is using it to describe the act of installing wood flooring.
What about “Beer me?”
Or “texting?” I must confess to being guilty of saying I “texted” someone when the phrase really should be “sent a text” or “received a text message.”
There have always been nouns that also can be used as verbs. Scribd.com has a great list of them here, which includes face, balance, plane, stop, transport, laugh, name, and cycle.
However, these latest examples, especially “floor the house” and “beer me,” just feel lazy, as if asking politely for a beer is too many words to utter and inventing yet another meaning for “floor” is so very clever. I know language evolves, but in these cases, it feels more like a devolution.
What do you think?