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A grammar peeve for some

Posted by Garry Collins, AATE President on 13 December 2014

The letter below was submitted for possible publication in The Australian on Wednesday 10 December 2014 but, alas, it did not make it into print.

Verbalising nouns

John Riley (Letters, 9/12) registers his dismay at one aspect of language change, the process by which some words which have hitherto functioned only as nouns are now used also as verbs.

To underline his argument, he wonders how long it will be before the neologism camerise appears. But of course we have long used the associated word photograph as both noun and verb as well as in an adjectival function in a phrase like a photograph album.

Rather than portending the end of civilization as we know it, I suggest this sort of flexibility with vocabulary in fact enriches the language.

Garry Collins
President, Australian Association for the Teaching of English (AATE)

Author: Garry Collins, AATE President
About: Garry Collins is the Immediate Past President of ETAQ and began a 2 year term as AATE President on 1 January 2014. A retired high school English teacher, he now works in the School of Education at the University of Queensland as a sessional tutor in English curriculum courses.
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