This is a forum to discuss the gray areas of the English language for which you would not find answers easily in dictionaries or other reference books. You can browse through the latest questions and comments below. If you have a question of your own, please submit it here.
Search Pain in the English
I’m new here, and am wondering what all you experts think about the use of the word “leverage” as a verb. It seems it’s being used more often recently. Personally I feel that “leverage” is a noun, as defined by Merriam-Webster’s as “the action of a lever or the mechanical advantage gained by it”. However it seems that mainly financial and managerial types seem to like using is as a verb - “Hey, let’s leverage the unfortunate circumstances of these people that can’t pay their bonds, and get their homes for free”.
What does it mean? Although MW does give it as a verb as well, it’s interesting that investopedia.com gives it as “1 The use of various financial instruments or borrowed capital, such as margin, to increase the potential return of an investment.”, i.e. it lists the verb first. Other sources give different meanings, suggesting that the meaning of “leverage” as a verb is not very clear. I wonder what these people do when their roof leakages, or the engines of their cars failure?
Just for interest, over the years I’ve bookmarked the following in my web browser (under info / language / English):
(please excuse the language there where not appropriate :)
Oh yes, and a quote from Seth Godin’s blog (although I’m not sure who he is quoting):
“leveraging” , - comment: i asked everyone on my team not to use those words. the frequency of use of words like “leverage” is inversely proportionate to the amount of original thought. the more you say “leverage”, the less you’ve probably thought about what you’re saying.
(Seth is an American marketer, motivational speaker and author)
I had always believed that saying “thanks for that” without a following noun or phrase was intended as something of a put down.
I’m not referring to its use in the form “Thanks for that information” or “Thanks for that wine you sent”, but to the situation(s) where someone had said something inane or pointless, or had told an uninteresting story or a somewhat obscure joke.
One would then say “Thanks for that” followed by the person’s name.
Tim: “This one time, I broke a pen and then fixed it again.”
Me: “Thanks for that, Tim.”
But now the phrase seems to be in general use with no irony attached.
Instead of just saying “Thank you” some people are now saying “Thanks for that” with no further qualification.
Not content with using “roading” as a noun meaning “the provision and building of roads” the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has now introduced another example of why suits should not be allowed to write signs.
A stretch of motorway on the north side of Auckland is being widened and there is a forest of signs proclaiming “3 laning project in progress”!
GRRRR GNASH GNASH!! :)
In this question, I deliberately misspelled “mispelling.”
Is (sp!) an appropriate abbreviation to stand for “deliberately misspelled?”
Many people use
(sp?) for (I don’t know how to spell that word)
Julie Andrews sang Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (sp?) with great gusto.
(sic) or [sic] is not appropriate here. I understand that [sic] is used to indicate that the word was spelled that way in document that is being quoted or cited.
The new commander consumed [sic] control of the military base.
(illustration modified from an actual case of using the wrong word)
So, it seems to me that we can use
(sp!) for (I am deliberately mispelling (sp!) this word
QUESTION: Is there a better abbreviation, or a well-known abbreviation for this usage?
I am a cab driver and pick up people from all over the country/world and take them where they want to go. Boring disclaimer aside; I hope to understand a word used by a southern man that unsurprisingly follows a strong Christian background through his adult life. As mysterious as the story may be if time were allotted to tell it, or was applicable in this forum, he constantly referred to me as “hand.” Not sure if this coincides with his Christian background, i.e. “The hand of God”, or it is a long lost southern slang with a more ambiguous meaning.