Come on, people, “install” is not a noun!

Nor are “invite,” “electric,” or “RSVP.”
(“Conference” is, though.)

I heard it again on the radio today. It came hard on the heels of hearing some announcer say “bidness” instead of “business,” “goverment” instead of “government,” and “Febyooary” instead of “February.” A commercial for wood stoves says you can (and I quote): “Call today to schedule an install!”  SCREECH!!! goes the little voice in my head, the one that goes nuts over these things. Well, maybe not so little. And maybe not so totally inside my head, but that’s a different rant.

How many times have you heard someone say “Hey, I didn’t get an invite to that!”? How many times have you heard someone talk about having to pay for the “electric” they used? (probably in “Febyooary”)? Maybe they went to the “liberry” to look up ways to save.

Look, I have nothing against change. I’ll say “modem” just as nicely as anyone else, or say “internet,” or use “monitor” as a noun. I’ve even been known to refer to “googling” something (although my spell checker doesn’t like it.) But those are new words for new meanings. Those add to the richness and diversity of the language. It is a horse of a different color entirely to say “We don’t need ‘invitation,’ ‘installation,’ or ‘electricity.’ We have other words that are close enough to those, so let’s just throw out the duplicates.”

“Seen” is rapidly becoming the only form of “see” that gets used anymore. We used to say “I see you today, I saw you yesterday, and I have seen you before.” Now it’s “I seen you today, I seen you yesterday, and I seen you before that.” Do you seen what got lost there?

And don’t expect the schools to teach your children how to speak. Every year that I had children in middle school, I got notes home three times a year saying that the teacher needed to “conference” with me. Not to “confer” with me, not to “have a conference” with me. The teacher needed to “conference” with me.

We’re losing bandwidth in our language, and if we don’t wake up soon, we’ll all be back to unintelligible grunts.

By the way:
A standard scrabble set has 100 tiles. The longest word played (that I was able to verify) was the word CONSIDER, played by Ken Clark at a tournament in September, 1990. At 15 letters, that’s 15% (or almost one seventh) of the available tiles!

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One response to “Come on, people, “install” is not a noun!

  1. What is more fun than butchering a language? I honestly don’t know. 😦