In Which the Prof is Peevish, Prescriptive, and Pedantic? Perhaps.

I guess we can file this under “signs of growing older,” but at this time of year, I find myself increasingly irritated by the use of gift as a verb. Yes, I know the OED traces this usage back to the 16th C., but I don’t care.

Mondo may be just pawn in game of life, but for me, gift is a noun: I received a gift from my Aunt Glo. Give is a verb, with tenses including gave and has given: I should give Aunt Glo something nice. After all, she gave me something last year. Gift as a verb is a barbarism, or at least an affectation: I want to sound fancy, so I asked her to gift me a Word-A-Day calendar. She gifted me a copy of Strunk & White instead. (I’m okay with gifted as an adjective, by the way.)

As I noted, the offending usage has a long history, but it seems to me that it has experienced a renaissance of sorts in the past few years. I don’t know why. In any case, this morning I saw an online ad for a New York Times supplement that said something like, “Gift Wisely.” At last, I had enough. “I’ve had enough!” I declared unnecessarily, not least because I’m the only one home at the moment. And here we are.

Today’s post is brought to you by the Department of Futility.

About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
This entry was posted in Culture, Education, Pixel-stained Wretchery, Why I Do What I Do. Bookmark the permalink.

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