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Thursday, February 8, 2018

A fun noun-verb/verb-noun conversion quiz

MacMillan Dictionaries has created this fun quiz on my favourite subject, functional shifts, better known as "Is it OK to use a noun as a verb or a verb as a noun?" The answer is YES, by the way. You can read my thoughts about it here:
http://katherinebarber.blogspot.ca/2010/09/verbs-its-ok-to-do-this-really.html
For many other examples that I've written about, you can click on the "nouns as verbs" tag.

Here's the quiz:
http://www.macmillandictionaryblog.com/nounings-and-verbings-quiz

I don't think the point of the quiz is to see how many you get "right", actually. I think it is to show how very embedded these conversions have become in English, so we no longer have any notion that "Well, that's really a NOUN; it shouldn't be used as a verb". Or vice versa.

Oh, and by the way, if you're tempted to quote Calvin and Hobbes "Verbing weirds language" as someone always does when this topic comes up, please don't. Verbing enriches the language, and it's perfectly normal. Not weird at all. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Katherine,
    The most funny thing about the notion "Verbing weirds language" is that a noun "verb" and an adjective "weird" are converted here to verbs so naturally.

    ReplyDelete

About Me

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Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.