New form of a word?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Oct 23 17:15:12 UTC 2002

>Hi all,
>I just received this message from one of our administrators:
>Staff please be aware that on Thursday you do not have to report and
>be ready for work until 12:00.  We are flexing your day.
>I have never heard 'flexing' used this way.  It is obviously based
>on 'flexible,' the buzzword that the admin used ad nauseum during
>recent contract negotiations.  Everything and everyone needs to be
>'flexible.'  Anyway, is 'flexing' used this way odd to anyone else?

"Flex" is used around here as a verb, but not in the above sense.
Instead, one "flexes" one's benefits (putting a certain amount of
money aside each year as non-taxable salary reduction against future
unreimbursed tax-deductible medical or child-care benefits that can
then be "flexed" each month, whereupon the amount shows up as
restored to one's next paycheck.  At the end of the year, all
set-aside funds must have been submitted; it's use-it-or-lose-it.
Perhaps this use of "flex" as a verb influenced the emergence of


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