Period of inurement for verbings
Posted: 02 April 2013 03:23 AM   [ Ignore ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2896
Joined  2007-02-26

It seems to me that when a noun is verbed, there is a typically a period of consternation, followed by gradual acquiescence and then near universal acceptance. But how long does this all take?

If I’m right, transition (v.i.) didn’t really take off until the late 70s, and the tut-tutting took around 20 years to die down, but now it is hardly ever commented on.

This is just my subjective impression: does it accord with yours?

(Pretty much everything in this post is my subjective impression, so I won’t be flagging each separate comment as a subjective impression… just bear that in mind so I don’t sound falsely authoritative in your heads.)

Sports commentators really took to medal (v.i.) in the 90s and it still raises eyebrows, or causes the eyes beneath them to roll.

I would reckon that 20 years after the first bloom of a verbing, everyone except the serious curmudgeons accepts it. After 40 years, even the curmudgeons forget to be irritated. Something like that timescale?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 April 2013 06:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  3338
Joined  2007-01-29

It seems to me that when a noun is verbed, there is a typically a period of consternation, followed by gradual acquiescence and then near universal acceptance.

Why are you limiting it to “when a noun is verbed”?  What you describe is true of pretty much all language change.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 April 2013 07:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2896
Joined  2007-02-26

Again, just my impression, but it seems to me that people (at least, some people) are more resistant to zero derivations than to straight-up neologisms, and that hence the time frame for the former is a bit longer. The people who spit at “podiuming” will happily “blog”.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 April 2013 10:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4478
Joined  2007-01-03

It’s an interesting question. I’m not sure there is a standard timescale that applies. I would think that it is influenced by whether or not a curmudgeon writes about it. If one does, then the resistance to the change is likely to stick around until the old guard dies off. But if no one formally notices, resistance never develops. People may not like the new usage privately, but no one makes a stink.

And its not just change. Sometimes people object to things that aren’t changing, e.g., infer/imply, or they object to changes that are happening in their favor, objecting to the old usage that is starting to fade, e.g., uninterested/disinterested.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 02 April 2013 03:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2896
Joined  2007-02-26

No doubt it’s a rich tapestry.
Thanks.

Profile