Verbifying the Gerund

There is a new trend in the English Language and that is to verbify words. Verbifying words is the concept of taking a noun like mouse (like a computer mouse) and then describing the concept of using the mouse like this “I just had a quick mouse around the screen”. It may have existed for a long time, but certainly in modern times it has become much more popular because of the rapid invention of new things. We all tend to know what the new thing is called (unless we’re still referring to all of them as thingy still) but sometimes its more difficult to know how to describe using the thing itself. Another example is “Video” to mean the Video Cassette Recorder. Or “Video” to mean record things on the Video Cassette Recorder.

The extra fun part about “Verbify” is that it is self referential. “Verbify” is a “Verbified” version of the noun “Verb”.

Verbify does have a rather ancient opposite though, something that we’ve all being doing for ages probably without remembering the name for it. A gerund* is when you take a verb and then turn it into a noun. Eg. “I am going to sing”, and then in the next sentence, “Everyone hated Alex’s singing”. In the second sentence the thing that people are doing is “hating” so what I’m doing has become a gerund.

But despite being opposites they can be used together, hence “Verbifying” is a gerund version of “Verbify”.

*I first came across a gerund when learning Latin at school**

**Yeah I know – weird huh***

***I would have been a judge but I didn’t have the Latin.

One thought on “Verbifying the Gerund

  1. Igor Andronov says:

    I understand that Google have a problem with the verbification of Google…

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