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.