“Stretchered” Off the Ice?

By Paul Yeager, author of Literally, the Best Language Book Ever and Weather Whys: Facts, Myths, and Oddities

Although it’s often difficult to be (because of the unnecessary violence often intended to injure opponents), I’m a fan of hockey.

The hockey act that resulted in the ridiculous language example I’m about to cite is an unfortunate example of what could be a great sport; however, let us, for the moment, only look at the language use in question: Marian Hossa Was Stretchered Off The Ice After This Brutal Hit From Raffi Torres.

Stretcher is a verb? The word now means “the act of moving someone (presumably into an ambulance) while on a stretcher.”

Call dictionary.com; even they don’t have that verbification (what I called the process of turning nouns into verbs in my book) yet. Call the descriptivists who think that, as long as the meaning is understood, it’s legitimate usage. We have a new verb!

Let’s do a little conjugation of the verb stretcher, at least of the present tense:

  • I stretcher
  • You stretcher
  • He/she/it stretchers
  • We stretcher
  • They stretcher

You get the idea.

If you want a new word, then simply turn a noun into a verb and you have one. You verbed it.

We certainly wish Marian Hossa the best and hope that hockey takes serious steps to remove the unnecessary violence from the game.

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