Monday, May 10, 2010

Why Doesn't "Shampoo" Mean Imitation Excrement?

  And I've also been curious about the trend in using nouns as verbs:  people and corporations are busy parenting, partnering, journaling, mentoring, tasking, and friending.  However, a check of the Oxford English Dictionary Online (no link because you have to subscribe) revealed that these uses had antique appeal.  Check out ye olde quotations.
PARENT as a verb goes way back.  Note the 67-year gap in usage after 1908.
1663 G. MACKENZIE Religio Stoici (new ed.) 22 Churlishness and close-handedness parented by avarice.
1884 W. F. CRAFTS Sabbath for Man (1894) 192 Even a republican government is compelled to parent such of its people as are not capable of self-government. 1908 J. FLYNT My Life 307 It was a silly and unpatriotic thought, no doubt, and it was probably parented by a variety of factors. 1975 Listener 13 Mar. 340/3 Over 75 couples..have already been approved as adoptive or foster-parents... Many..are most suitable candidates to parent the child in question. 1994 Daily Tel. 16 Feb. 10/2, I watched my parents parent the country much the same way they parented my family.

a1616 SHAKESPEARE Cymbeline (1623) I. vi. 122 A Lady, So faire, be partner'd With Tomboyes.
1819 Blackwood's Edinb. Mag. 5 592 A respectable accompaniment of lads and ‘lasses free’; with whom it is time to partner ourselves on the green. 1898 Times 10 June 11/4 Harry Vardon, who was partnered with Bob Simpson. 1909 Westm. Gaz. 8 Feb. 12/4 Supposing a plus 3 man is partnered with a steady player whose handicap is 8, the two as a foursome side would be handicapped at 5. 1970 J. EARL Tuners & Amplifiers i. 14 Most amplifiers can be partnered with a tuner of matching style and size. 2000 Petcare Jan.-Feb. 3/3 Finally the dog is partnered with a disabled person during a two-week intensive residential course.

 1. trans. To record in a journal.
1803 J. KENNY Society 107 Oft o'er the journal'd tale she cast her eye. 1892 Idler May 461 His journaled impressions of America.

MENTOR as a verb is younger than the others.  It's an American invention.
   trans. To act as a mentor to (a person, team, etc.); to advise or train (someone, esp. a younger and less experienced colleague). Also intr. and in extended use.
1918 Indianapolis (Indiana) Star 24 Mar. (Sport section) 1/6 Cleo O'Donnell, whose headline job is coaching the footballers, is mentoring the baseball squad at this time. 1948 Mexico (Missouri) Evening Ledger 6 Oct. 7/3 LaBrucherie mentored for 16 seasons at Los Angeles high school. 1976 Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 103 184 Dr. Gould has..mentored several graduate students. 1981 N.Y. Times 16 Aug. VIII. 8/6 The true progress will come when we reach the stage of mentoring the brokers of the next century, androgynously. 1990 E. KRAFT Reservations Recommended vi. 209 He's proud of having had the idea that led to inventing it and proud of having..‘mentored’ the gadget through its development. 1996 Big Issue 15 July 26/2 Levi's head of human resources is mentoring our director of personnel and training.

1530 PALSGR. 753/1, I taske, I put or sette one to his taske what laboure he shall do or what he shall paye, je tauxe.
1588 SHAKES. L.L.L. II. i. 20 But now to taske the tasker. 1667 WOODHEAD St. Teresa II. xi. 93 Let her task, and employ them in..Exercises. 1784 COWPER Task II. 23 Thus man devotes his brother, and destroys;..Chains him, and tasks him, and exacts his sweat With stripes. 1828 Life Planter Jamaica 154 The negroes complained more of the [fact] of being tasked, than..of the additional labour.

 3. To act as a friend to, befriend (a person, cause, etc.); to assist, help. arch. or poet.
1562 J. HEYWOOD Prov. & Epigr. (1867) 89 Freende they any, That flatter many? 1581 SAVILE Tacitus' Hist. IV. xxxix. (1591) 198 Kings which frended the cause. 1600 HOLLAND Livy XXXI. xi. 779 They had undertaken the warre upon king Philip, because he had friended and aided [auxiliis juvisset] the Carthaginians. a1618 SYLVESTER Maiden's Blush 967 Shee all the gods requires To friend her love, and further her desires. 1676 W. ROW Contn. Blair's Autobiog. xii. (1848) 434 Reports came that the King would friend Lauderdale. 1855 SINGLETON Virgil I. 27 Do thou but at his birth the boy..O chaste Lucina, friend.

Why noun when you can verb?

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