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November 5, 2010
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I would not use the word "conversate," (mainly because the "-ate" is redundant), but I would not judge someone who does as stupid or sloppy or pretentious. People are different, and we need to learn to live with that. Let the person who is without sin cast the first stone.
I agree; what is the point of the quotation marks. (Rhetorical question so no question mark) (Incomplete sentence so no period)
I need to add something to what I said: perhaps "gift" as a verb can refer to paying for something that is chosen and bought by the recipient whereas "give" can refer to the giver choosing and buying the gift and presenting it.
I am reluctant to ever condemn an expression as "totally unnecessary." Usually if the language community invents something, there is a need, or at least a perceived use.
With respect to "to gift," I can see use for its past tense form ("the masterpiece was gifted to the museum by Mr Gates"). Yes, "given to us" is less pretentious, but sometimes one wants to be pretentious, if only for ironic or humorous effect. In my example the intent might be to infer a dignity and honor to the giver. I don't know that it succeeds--it would depend on the rest of the context, and I think I would avoid it, but we need to avoid building rulebook walls.
The problem with "conversating" is more serious (which is perhaps why I find "to gift" in my dictionary but not "to conversate." The "-ate" suffix can convert a noun into a verb, and is already an ending to some verbs, but "to converse" is already a verb. Converting a verb into a verb is of course redundant.
Looks "uneducated" to whom?
Are we sure the person who is going to "signage" sacred areas is a native speaker? It strikes me as the sort of mistake a person who is transliterating from another language might make--keep in mind that verb-noun-preposition combination such as "put signs around" are idiomatic.
At any rate, I just don't believe this is a problem; it is too bizarre.
You do a service pointing out the danger of using "gift" as a verb. There are of course times when "gift" as a verb would be OK, but I would tread carefully. Most of the time it would come across as pretentious or perhaps as flip.
There are of course many English nouns that also serve as verbs, and it may be that English will continue to move in an isolating direction (which would include weakening the distinctions between parts of speech).
Of course "can not" is fine. It has a stronger pulse than "cannot," so I prefer it.
It is nothing more than your opinion that it is improper. I think I would probably not find myself using "reference" as a verb because as a verb it would be weak, but I think it is way too much to call it an error. The language does not need to be fenced in like that: there might be situations where the subtle difference would be useful.
I have yet to find myself in a situation where I felt the need, or even the temptation, to use an emoticon.
Their most common use seems to be to try to put a polite note on a rude statement. Sorry, but that doesn't work. A rude statement remains rude even if you say it with a smile.
I think the subtleties mentioned in some of the above messages will almost certainly go over most heads unappreciated. It may take some effort, but it will be better in the end if you incorporate your subtleties into your text.
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