Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Olympic conversions

Several people on the English Language List (the email list for A Level English Language teachers) have commented that new verb-noun conversions have appeared during the Winter Olympics. One contributor has noticed the verb "to medal" in the expression "We won't medal this year" (ie get any medals) while another has noticed the infinitive form "to podium".

And it's not just the Olympics either. An expression like "to text" is now commonplace, and even terms like "to prank" someone (to play a prank on them) or "stop paranoying me!" (in the context of a girl being wound up about her ship sinking and avalanches falling on her during a year 7 skiing trip!) have been reported on the list too.

Language change in action! But why is it so often, noun to verb rather than the other way round?

Useful for:
ENA5 - Language Change

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