Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Words and Phrases and Nasty New Verbs

Last weekend, the Australian newspaper alerted us to a nasty new usage:

Stamp it out quickly, I say.


  1. I agree wholeheartedly: "nasty" is indeed the correct description of these inventions. I neglected to comment, but I fully agree with your husband's view of "gifting": it is clearly a barbarism that should be (but will not, alas) be eradicated.

    Here are two more candidates: "foregrounding" (often found in pretentious literary criticism) and "friending" (a reason in itself not to enroll in Facebook).

  2. Hello Stephen. My husband will appreciate your support. I've not come across foregrounding, but I hate 'privileging', which sort of tries to say the same thing in a lot of art criticism I've read - as in 'He privileged this argument over that one. I've just bought that Huizinga book you mentioned on your blog, by the way, and am loving it (despite the odd typo). I'd never have known it existed, if you hadn't brought it up, so many thanks.