[DWJ] Re: Gotten, was Re: DWJ on Bujold

Otter Perry ottertee at silverwinggraphics.com
Thu May 15 15:48:00 EDT 2008

On May 15, 2008, at 3:12 AM, Roger Burton West wrote:

> On Wed, May 14, 2008 at 11:32:05PM +0100, Minnow wrote:
>> Alison asked:
>>> And another pet peeve - using "gift" as a verb, instead of the  
>>> perfectly
>>> good "give."
>> Verbing nouns is a very traditional irritation, along with nouning  
>> verbs.
>> :-)  I suppose it is part of the growth of a language, even if it  
>> drives
>> some of us mad while it is happening.  According to the SOD 'gift'  
>> has been
>> a verb since about 1600, so it has probably been annoying people  
>> for four
>> centuries or so.  Either that or 'give' has, as a nasty modern  
>> word that
>> people didn't oughter used that way!  :-)
> While it may well have decent historical antecedents, I think it's  
> still
> reasonable to deplore the recent popularity of "gifting" in its
> association with guilt-based consumerism and Xmas: for example, a  
> label
> of "gifting chocolates" (i.e. we don't expect you to buy these for
> yourself). Has this been happening in the USA as well as tne UK?

OMG!  I live a rather sheltered life in some ways -- that is, I don't
watch TV* and don't have kids -- but I have NOT seen "gifting"
out here in Colorado.  That is _disgusting_!**  "Gift chocolates" I
would expect, so why bother adding the "ing"?

*  That is to say, we don't watch anything that originates outside
the house -- cable, dish, network, etc.  We watch tapes and DVDs,
though, and subscribe to Netflix.  [Netflix is a rent-by-mail service.]
My partner is presently a total Sopranos addict.

**  I'm currently listening to an introductory linguistics course on
CD, and I had firmly resolved to be more relaxed about changes
in the language which don't sound "right" to me, but it seems my
limit of tolerance is very easily reached.


... the Bible is full of literature's two great
themes, love and death (as well as its
exciting cariacatures, sex and violence) ...

                                       - Thomas Cahill

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