Wednesday, February 19, 2014

             I’ve been watching the Winter Olympics.  They’re a grand display of what the best and brightest young athletes of the world can accomplish, and a credit to their Russian hosts, who have spared no expense to stage mind-bending artistic and technical displays and construct a fine venue for the games.  (Despite that pesky snowflake that failed to unfold in the opening ceremonies, a glitch the media folk apparently will never ever let them, or us, forget, I think we have to give the Russkies four and a half out of five rings for their efforts.)
           But the games are also a fascinating study in the classic sport of Verbing Nouns.
           Bob Costas was favored to gold in Verbing, but Matt Lauer has heroically come from behind in that event to not only podium, but likely to gold.  Costas will medal, of course, if he doesn't rag-doll in the final round; he'll probably even silver.  And Al Roker, who has been known to not only Verb numerous nouns superbly but even to combine that expertise with some tricky and adept double and even triple alliteration, will likely bronze, giving the American media team a shiny share of precious metal.  In practice, he scored high marks from the judges with his latest effort: "Hello again, folks. Well, the weather has warmed today, seriously slushing the Sochi slopes."  An alliterative quad, no less.  (Okay, so I made up that last about Al, but doesn't it sound like something he'd say?)
          And that got me thinking of all the words that have become both nouns and verbs.  There are many:  Ski.  Slide.  Snowboard.  Award.  Hit.  Shot.  Smoke.  Treat.  Display.  Grant.  Task.  Network.  Girdle.  Span.  Pit.  Tweet.
         But you can construct your own list. 
         Just Google it.

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