more verbing

A. Vine avine at ENG.SUN.COM
Wed Jul 7 00:34:06 UTC 1999

Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system...

So, in my world (call it "Andrea's World") verbing is the making of its object
into a verb.  Otherwise it would be redundant.  As for baking, well, I'm not a
big fan of cake, but I see your point.  The difference is that whatever it is
you verb becomes a verb.  This is not true of baking.  However, if you say "bake
a batter", this is pretty generic; the batter could be cake batter, or cookie
batter, or bread batter (quickbread, that is).  So I surmise we default to the
more specific information, which lies in the result of the baking.  For verbing,
the most meaningful interpretation is the original sense of the word - we know
what the result is.  Truth be told, though, the word that is verbed is the
object; how you interpret its part of speech is up to you.

'For me, it is other parts of speech which can be verbed,' she viewpointed,

(of "Andrea's World")

Dennis R. Preston wrote:
> Andrea,
> A little opaque (even for me). When I say you "verb verbs," I mean you
> "create [verb] verbs" (out of whatever material), just like you "bake a
> cake" out of material which is certainly not a cake to start with. Lots of
> verbs have this "creative" function, in which you do not "do" something to
> something else (prototypically transitive) but "cause" something to come
> into being as a result of the activity.
> If you "transitively" baked a cake, you would take a cake already made and
> stick it in the oven. Not a good plan.
> OK?
> dInIs
> >Dennis R. Preston wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >> PS: One might, by the way, treat "verb" as an "essentially" transitive form
> >> in  that it has a "cognate object" (which, therefore, need not be overtly
> >> expressed). That is, one "verbs verbs" (causes items to become verbs),
> >> although this is slightly more complex than typical cognate verbs, although
> >> some objects which appear with semantically "depleted" verbs (e.g., "I made
> >> a fuss" versus "I fussed") are similar.
> >>
> >
> >OK, I'm lost.  Maybe I'm not understanding what you're saying here, but I
> >thought one verbs nouns and adjectives, not verbs.
> >
> >And I'm trying to grok "franticking" - I envision pandemonium.
> >
> >Andrea
> >--

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