Wednesday, November 3, 2010



The verbing of America
Is getting out of hand,
Yet many nouns are also verbs,
Like toast and rake and land.
When I first heard hospitalize,
I thought it was a crime;
Why don't we apartmentalize?
We will -- just give us time!
If when we change a noun to verb
To come up with our `verbing,'
Why can't I, when I'm using herbs,
Refer to it as herbing?
For if I call myself a cook
, The verbal form is cooking;
And if I give someone a look,
It's also known as looking.
I give a gift
But I'm not gifting.
You get my drift,
Or am I drifting?
I get a bill
Because of billing,
But taking pills
Is never pilling.
I place a pin,
And I am pinning.
Play a violin --
Is it violining?
But play a fiddle,
And you're fiddling;
Or is this getting
Much too piddling?
Planting some seeds
Is always seeding,
And pulling weeds
Is surely weeding;
If drawing blood
Is always bleeding,
Why does a flood
Not lead to fleeding?
I'm wined and dined
But never beered.
I've eyed someone,
But never eared!
Turn on a light,
And I am lighting.
Turn on a lamp,
And it's not lamping.
If I can verbalize
A needle,
And egging on
Can mean to wheedle,
And I am doodling
With a doodle,
When I cook pasta,
Can't I noodle?
With all these punctuation marks,
I'm doing quite a lot of dotting;
But if I were to use a dash --
Don't you agree that I am dashing?
But comma-ing and period-ing?
And yet I can italicize
And sometimes must capitalize.
I Anglicize -- but Germanicize?
Or Swedicize, or Gaelicize?
With this I could go on and on,
Really ad infinitum;
Whether I lick these word problems,
I sure cannot beat 'em.
Our language is an enigma
In how its words are used;
And that is why, in verbing nouns,
We ought to be excused.

(Thanks to Jessica Kestner, who found this in St. Paul Pioneer Press)