Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Pet Peeve Revisited

Chris Heard, Kevin Wilson, and Mark Goodacre list some pet peeves, and I notice that Kevin and Mark include one of my biggest: the "reckless creation of denominative verbs". In an earlier post I complained about "The Dumbing Down of English Nouns". For instance, I find "to dialogue" odious in the extreme, but unfortunately it's becoming more acceptable. Evolution can be painful.

See if you can tell which of the following (a) have become acceptable, (b) are on the road to becoming acceptable, or (c) remain unacceptable.
1. The benefits office has identified several ways to INCENTIVIZE employees to reduce absences.

2. A disturbing DISCONNECT between the company's product development policies and marketplace realities has become apparent.

3. The planning commission members excused themselves briefly from the city council meeting to CONFERENCE outside.

4. We will recycle that scrap metal, but we'll LANDFILL the old logs.

5. The new purchasing procedures ADVANTAGE larger suppliers.

6. The Peace Corps' campus representative will OFFICE in Thompson Hall and report to the director of international education.

7. The agency favors foster parent applicants who previously have PARENTED or cared for children in some capacity.

8. The organization's attorney is WORDSMITHING a draft.

9. The agency is helping growers to TRANSITION to organic production.

10. Cooking contest rules state that chefs must SOURCE all of the ingredients within the county.

11. Sharon said she welcomes the opportunity to MENTOR children.

12. In our analysis, we are EFFORTING to determine the cause of the decline in water quality.

13. The report will BENCHMARK business processes, including average order processing time, average margins, inventory turnover and average sales per employee.

14. Ellen was TASKED to analyze the competition.

15. Each entry point in the building is ALARMED after business hours to detect unauthorized intrusion.

16. A team composed of senior officers was formed to hold an OFFSITE to discuss and recommend appropriate action.

17. The bank has begun TRIALING a new voice-recognition system to ease telephone account access for customers.

18. School administrators encourage parents to PARTNER with their child's teacher.

19. We can help the company diversify by LEVERAGING our office leasing experience.

20. We must seek ways to NORM the data with other agencies that have conducted similar surveys.

21. The police department rerouted traffic until construction crews UPRIGHTED the fallen crane.

22. He REFERENCED a previous variance granted in 1996 that authorized 15-foot setbacks.

23. After making their presentation, the consultants DIALOGUED with interested business owners.

24. Do not SEWER melted agar, which will congeal and then clog the pipes.

25. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first people to SUMMIT Mt. Everest.

26. The underwater seismic survey was PURPOSED to delineate faulted zones and evaluate the physical properties of the bedrock.

27. Frank, can you STATUS us on the fund-raising campaign?

28. If you were not the instructor for the last lesson, please INTERFACE with the previous instructor before class starts.

29. She ARCHITECTED Web-based content management, electronic learning and electronic commerce systems for dozens of companies.

30. The legislation will SUNSET the state Acupuncture Board, and replace it with a bureau within the Department of Consumer Affairs.
Hint: nine are acceptable, nine are not, and twelve are "on the road" -- meaning it depends on what source you consult: the Merriam-Webster OnLine Dictionary, American Heritage Dictionary, or Oxford Online Dictionary. (From my previous post and EditPros. See the latter for answers.)


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