Monday, December 6, 2010


This is probably Wittgenstein territory to be quite honest, but driving to work this morning there was someone giving out about the way that nouns are being turned into verbs in English today. We Google, we Flip Chart.

In principle, I am a champion of the Kings English, I own a number of style books grammars and writing guides. Not that my writing is perfect but I am optimistic that the fact of ownership will lead to a kind of osmosis of enlightenment if I keep these things hanging around.

However that’s not my point here.

I started thinking about nouns turning into verbs, and I started with a few simple examples.

I table a motion.

I chair a meeting.

I floor an opponent.

I wall up an opening.

I roof a cottage.

I pencil in a meeting date.

I pen my memoirs.

I paper a wall.

I dot my I’s

I cross my T’s.

I knife my opponent. (Mac the knife was playing on the radio this morning.)

I could go on, but the above examples will, I think, suffice. When we divide up and categorize words, just how real are our divisions, and how many words are there which wander into pens where they are not supposed to be? Educationally, we do a lot of boxing up knowledge and much of teaching is unwrapping these parcels and putting them back out into real life.