Friday, May 13, 2016

GRAMMAR Q&A: HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GIFT AS A VERB?

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

When Penelope wrote a post about the grammar she learned, Wilma of South Englishtown Gazette asked a question about gift as a verb:

Dear Penelope,

You are such a smart dog! I hope that you and Mom Mom can help me out a grammar issue that involves fengshuition. What gives with using the noun “gift” as a verb? To give is a perfectly good, although irregular, verb; give, gave, given. Do people think using gift as a verb makes things fancier, more special? Does “I gifted her with a car for her birthday…” sound fancier than “I gave her a car for birthday…”? Is the gifted car a newer model than the given car? Did Gwyneth Paltrow gift somebody something, and now everyone gifts so they can be bright and shiny just like Gwyneth? Please help. 

Best Regards,
Wilma


Our answer:

Franklin, Penelope, and I hate the use of gift as a verb. We hate it great big gobs and bunches (the dogs agree with me because they want supper). 

We hate She gifted him a larger schlossen or Don Draper gifted the world a coke.

We can't bear the use of impact as a verb, and that's been snaking its way into the English language for years now. For example, When I punched that lousy grammarian, his head impacted the wall

See how violent impact as a verb makes us feel?

Language has to change, but I refuse to accept some changes. To gift bothers me because it seems trendy, some sort of fad that will catch on similar to the tattoos that seem to cover the lower backs of so many young women––tattoos that will stretch with pregnancies and fade with age and become ugly and tiresome (please don't tell me you have a tramp stamp and pick on me about it; what you do to your body is your problem).

Of course, gift provides an example of turning a noun into a verb.

Some casual uses of nouns as verbs don't get my panties in a wad. 

You have a question? Google it.

Want to know every actor who played Tarzan? IMDb it.

I IMDb every movie I watch for backstory, and I Google the backstories, too.

So under what circumstances will I accept gift as a verb? If someone gifts us with a car. New Nissan Sentra in red, please.


Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug


36 comments:

  1. Gift used as a verb drives me insane. So does the term summered.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As in "We summered in the Hamptons"? Spoken while I look down my very small nose at all the people who spend the summer at home, as do I.

      Delete
  2. And yes I realize I wrote an incomplete sentence. It was to mock the state of our current language.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used some sentence fragments in my post. They can be creative, but I wouldn't use them for formal writing.

      Delete
  3. Interesting and funny post. Thanks for sharing. I would never use gift as a verb. It feels and sounds wrong. Also, Gift in German means poison - so that would make Gwyneth a bad person :):) and that's not on! I really enjoyed this post. Have a lovely weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you speak French, don't mix up your poison with your poissons because you'll get poison instead of fish for dinner.

      Delete
  4. I'm happy I've never used gift as a verb on my blog. I don't want you and your crew coming after me. My kids both have tattoos, even though they know I disapprove. Where did I go wrong? At least there are no tramp stamps. Eww.

    -andi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, because me and my crew (Franklin and Penelope) is so violent. Franklin would kiss you. Penelope would give you the big scared eyes. I would hug you and tell you how much I love you. Well, that might be going too far. My son has so many tats that Penelope says his skin has paintings. As far as I know, my daughter remains tatless.

      Delete
  5. Thank you for gifting the world with this post!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I hate "gift" used as a verb. It sounds pretentious.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am pretentious, yet I hate "gift" as a verb. I guess I'm not pretentious enough.

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. As always, I appreciate your affirmation.

      Delete
  8. Great post. I know language changes but gift as a verb is tiresome, like the word is trying to be better than it its, able to get around more, so to speak. Watch out, it means poison in Swedish too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good to know for my next trip to Sweden, Inger, which will take place never.

      Delete
  9. Using "gift" as a verb sounds pretentious, and is downright annoying. Two other phrases that have been used with increasing frequency, even in newspapers, are "turned up missing" and "went missing." Am I the only one who finds that as annoying as a splinter under a toenail?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Went missing makes no sense. I despise, detest, and denigrate it. And how does someone turn up missing?

      Delete
  10. I am as loose and fluid with the English language as I am with its punctuation. But gifted as a verb sounds like something they would say on Downton Abbey--LOL! Generally, as long as I can understand what people are trying to say I'm okay with it. I'd rather hear people use improper English than use a constant barrage of foul language--any day. Too many people fall back on expletives due to a regretful lack of vocabulary.

    I do miss proper English--not that I am an authority by any means, but I've always been a reader so I can recognize it when I see it--LOL! Sadly, wth texts and twitter and emails and emojis--I think proper English it in for a huge hit over the next decade or so. Huge! People may not even know how to read cursive in another generation or two. I feel older than my years.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most schools don't teach grammar or cursive writing.

      Delete
    2. I knew about cursive not being taught anymore--but grammar, too? Yes...doomed.

      Delete
    3. I think most private schools still teach grammar. Catholics seem to be quite fond of diagramming sentences, something I absolutely hate.

      Delete
  11. Thanks, Janie! I feel so much better having that off my chest. One of my favorite aspects of the English language is its ability to evolve, change, and grow. I love the new verb "to google" because it so simply and clearly abbreviates the awkward phrasing "to do an internet search". Google as a verb fills a need. Gift as verb fills no need and only serves to trash up the English language with a redundant word that adds no nuance or connotation or simplification. The only function I can see is that the user wants to show off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Excellent comment. I saw a book by Gwyneth Paltrow on Amazon. I think the title is Everything Is Easy. Yes, Gwyneth, everything is easy when you have a chef and a trainer and someone to clean your house and take care of your children. Gift me some easy, Gwyneth.

      Delete
  12. That Parish Hall got me thinking: Perish/Parish the thoughts and actions.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Janie, you crack me up! I agree there are words like "gift or gifted" that has become trendy, but I guess if some one gifted me a brand new car then I wouldn't care how they say it, "I give.." or "I gift.." I won't turn down, either. :D Another thing you made me laugh about was the whole tattoo craze. I think precisely the same thing, over time that once beautiful (not in my opinion) inked design won't look like it did back in the day for the same reasons you mentioned. What a person does to his/her body is their business, but in all honesty I think these individuals are defacing their God-given good looks and you know there is a certain stigma attached with tattoos that puts people off. So, really these people have no reason to be offended when non-tattooers keep their small children away from you or they themselves try to not meet your eyes. I know all of these people aren't bad, but if they are strangers usually so I tend to keep my guard up. Okay, I've ranted enough about the tattoo issue. It's time to move on. Thanks for the tips, my friend! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the post, Cathy. Just so you know, my son is covered in tattoos, or as Penelope says, he has paintings on his skin. He's very nice, but sometimes people seem frightened by him. He's also very tall and strong. Recently, he considered a career change, but said he knew no one would hire him because of his tats. I don't know if he regrets getting them. I've gotten used to them. His don't bother me anymore, but in general, I'm not in favor of tattoos.

      Delete
  14. "Gift" as a verb doesn't bother me, but neither will I use it out of repect for our powerhouse, tag-team-the-world friendship and clearly implied laziness on my part. It's like a GIFT to you, but I give it...rather than gift it...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey Janie, Franklin and of course, Penelope,

    This post was a gift. Indeed, illustrious trio, all three of you are well and truly gifted.

    Turning nouns into verbs can be most infuriating. Although, being a grammar anarchist, I just irk at neologisms.

    Now then, if only we could get Americans to spell words correctly!

    I'm going now....

    A good weekend to you all aka, y'all.

    Gary :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet you're a good neighbour, Gary. Look! I learned how to spell.

      Delete
  16. There are a couple of words in this post I have more of a question or issue about than "to gift." Such as, "fengshuition?" I know you didn't use it, but you did use the word, "schlossen." Which I looked up and turns out to be German for "concluded," but that doesn't vibe with the context of the sentence. I have to assume you meant "Schloss," German for a building similar to a chateau. I many have focused on the wrong thing in this post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking of the Schlossen Cutoff in California. If you don't know what fengshuition is, then it's because you missed Penelope's post about learning grammar. Penelope says that fengshuition is punctuation that's used in a balanced and pleasing manner. I have to continue using fengshuition so Penelope will sleep with me, as in cuddle all night.

      Delete
  17. Where did you get that "America's Joyous Future" photo? I love it.

    And I remember the Schlossen Cutoff from Tea-Time Movie segments on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got Schlossen Cutoff from Carson. I've never forgotten it. A friend sent me the friends of irony shots, which she got from her mother.

      Delete

Got your panties in a bunch? Dig 'em out, get comfortable, and let's chat.