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Marketing through Motorsports
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our language changes constantly. Definitions shift. Old terms become obsolete while new ones erupt constantly into consciousness. Here is tonight's observation: nouns become verbs.

Remember when input was something you offered instead of something you did? You know, you'd enter input into a computer. I call this the "verbification of nouns®."

Our latest bulletin (http://www.scca.org/news/tech/prorally/PROB051903-zoneaccess.pdf) contains at least three new examples of this phenomenon: "waivered," "wristbanded," and "hard carded."

The scariest part of this musing ("a-" or not) little post is that I think I actually understood what they were trying to say!

waivered: the person signed a waiver
wristbanded: the person was issued a wristband
hard carded: the person was confirmed to be of legal drinking age

Let the verbification continue!
 

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I'm glad to see that they've solved the problem. Wristbands will prevent people from getting hurt at rallies! I better start wearing that thing while in the rally car, too, so I can't get hurt!

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>hard carded: the person was confirmed to be of legal
>drinking age

With the overall lightheartedness of the post I wasn't sure what to make of this one... It's funny, but unlike the other two, it's wrong.

Hard Carded: Having been issued an annual SCCA Performance Rally Hard Card.

JBLewis
 

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Ummm... I thought you were already supposed to be wearing them while you are competing.

Your registration and safety folks must not be very observant if you got by with that!
 

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I think that the verbification of nouns can be kind of fun in casual conversation, as sort of a joke, but it often bothers me when used in formal speaches or writing. The best excuses for any change in the language are that either no word exists with the precise meaning needed, or that the old way of saying things takes too long. Often people come up with new language in order to hide the truth.

The noun verbification that bothers me the most is "partner," as in "lets partner with our software provider." What was wrong with the words "work with" that "partner" fixes? "Work with" means that both groups will do some of the work, while "partner" as a verb has no dictionary meaning. While "partner" implies that both parties will be doing work, you can use the word without being obligated to do any of the actual work. Then during your performance review, you can say that you "partnered" on a computer software project even though all you really did was get someone else to write software for you. The party doing the work, sometimes likes this word because it implies a closer relationship between them and their customer than really exists, and thus inhibits the customer from switching suppliers.

We also have nounification of verbs, as in, "Please tell me what learnings you took away from that last rally." I don't see how "learnings" is better than "lessons." Better yet would be, "Please tell me what you learned from that last rally."

Outside of politics, I think that some of the worst abusers of English are in the education establishment. They often try to use language to make it sound like they are more educated, important, or productive than they really are. If you want an example of this, don't look to someone who calls himself or herself a "teacher," "pricipal," or "administrator." The offenders usually call themselves "educators." Some teachers call themselves an educator because they think it sounds more lofty than teacher. Many educational administrators call themselves educators, because they know that many people think that educational administrators are a waste of tax dollars. Educators have taken a lot of learnings away from the partnering that they have been doing.

Words for the most unpleasent things tend to get replaced pretty frequently. People don't like grave yards, so the marketers of grave yards started calling them cemeteries. Once the meaning of cemetery had fully sunk into the collective mind, the name was changed again to memorial park. We can expect this to keep changing.
 

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>Language, like everything else on earth, follows the 2nd law
>of thermodynamics, increasing its level of entropy. In
>simple terms, it gets more and more chaotic and confused
>over time.

The second law of thermodynamics just does not get the credit it deserves. It rocks.

Ben
 

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>"I like to verb words. Verbing weirds language."
>
> - Calvin from "Calvin & Hobbes"
>
>Jeff

See also: antidisabcontraun[link:dictionary.reference.com/search?q=gerund|gerund], v. "to verb".

-Isaac
 

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3 cheers for physics, what a cool set of rules to play within (most of the time).

So, on to the important question: what is the best way to "verbify" the word entropy? Seems like every now and then some to the posts here tend towards disorder/chaos..... :7
 

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Marketing through Motorsports
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
>So, on to the important question: what is the best way to
>"verbify" the word entropy? Seems like every now and then
>some to the posts here tend towards disorder/chaos..... :7

Entropify, as in "Each new official announcement further entropifies our sport."

John

P.S. Aren't you just going to hate it when our big new corporate sponsor (not yet a done deal) says I've got to go silent on these boards?
 

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<snip>
P.S. Aren't you just going to hate it when our big new corporate sponsor (not yet a done deal) says I've got to go silent on these boards?
</snip>

Er, a Widget Racing sponsor or the "official" SCCA sponsor? Either way, how would this require you to be silent on a non-sanctioned/recognized forum?

Just curious, as always.

Rob
 

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I agree with your observations in regard to the abuse of the language by educators. However, in my experience as a public school teacher the only time most teachers refer to themselves as educators is when collectively speaking about all staff; teachers, administrators, classified staff and so on, to denote the contributions to students' education made by those who are not "classroom teachers".

Jonathan Schiller
 
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