Saturday, January 19, 2008

A verb too far...

In one branch of WH Smith's today I saw a sign pointing upstairs to a department called Gifting.


Parenting was annoying when it first appeared but I've become used to it and accept the need for this word because there wasn't an adequate alternate verb for the act of being a parent. The same applies to verbs like networking, upgrading and downloading. But gifting?

A cursory glance at the internet shows that the word hasn't quite caught on, although it's only a matter of time before the relentless growth of retail adds this vile word to our lexicon. And just to make it even worse, I found regifting, which is what you do when you pass an unwanted present onto some other poor bastard. My mother did this several years ago, making secret marks on each item. She used the marks to confirm that almost every present had been regifted to her (via several other ungrateful recipients) within three years.


Susan Harwood said...

What about 'medaling' (as in 'winning a medal)? Very confusing!

I used to live in Scotland and 'gifted' was used to mean 'gave a present'. I quite liked that. It gave the giving a more solemn atmosphere . . . almost as if it were a bequest.


P.S. I like the eclectic nature of your blog . . . while books and book selling threads it together.

Steerforth said...

I'm glad you like the eclectic nature of the blog. I'd hate to be limited to writing about books when there are so many other subjects that I'm equally ill-informed about.