Everything Language and Grammar

Efforting

Posted by languageandgrammar on June 3, 2008

Two of the most popular trends in language are: 1) turning nouns into verbs and 2) making the argument that common usage is all that is needed in order for a word to become accepted. The non-word efforting is a good example of both.

Effort is a noun, meaning (for this discussion) an exertion of strength or power either in a physical or mental sense. Examples include it was an effort to mow the lawn and solving that math problem was quite an effort. Effort is not a verb meaning to exert an effort, so statements such as I’m efforting to get the project done on time is an incorrect way to use the word effort. 

Many nouns that have been misused as verbs have quickly gained acceptance, especially by online dictionaries. That’s how nouns such as dialogue have become commonly used verbs. Effort, though,  has not yet appeared on dictionary.com as a verb, so as long as we effort, I mean make an effort, we can avoid at least one noun being incorrectly used as a verb before it appears in most dictionaries.

–Paul

Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever;

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3 Responses to “Efforting”

  1. Dave said

    I don’t know how you could get through this post without reference to Calvin and Hobbes: verbing weirds language

    Reply from Paul: I hadn’t seen this, but it’s a great addition. Thanks.

  2. Not efforting said

    Stupid, made up word. But, more excusable that “prolly”, which I have seen used in print.

  3. The difference is that supposedly intelligent people use “efforting” in real language. “Prolly,” on the other hand, is merely slang and is not used in business meetings as “efforting” often is.

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