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Tuesday, November 02, 2010


The Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary primarily denotes "verbalize" as an action word that means "to speak or write verbosely" or "to express something in words," but its transitive use "to convert — a word, especially a noun — into a verb" is the best definition of the word at which I'm going to peg this topic.

As it has been said many times and I'm sure will sound the most banal idea within one's lifetime, the advent of technological advances has allowed man to do things posthaste with just a few clicks and tricks. Consistent with this great leap is our penchant in anything "terse" and "easy." It is as if we are running out of time and need to accomplish eleventh-hour day-to-day tasks one after another. We tend to shorten ways to deal with them, even to speak of them. We tend, therefore, to "verbalize" the seemingly kilometric-long description of the things we do: in one word.

Funny, but I've recently figured out that I encounter these "verbed" words every day, just by looking straight ahead or simply snooping into someone else's loud thoughts.

For one, as I was aboard the commuter train en route to work this noon, I noticed these plastic handles enclosing an advert of haircare product Vitress, which instead of being prolix in their promotion of the product, conveniently just have something like "Shine More. Get Vitressed." So if you want your hair to be as shiny as a newly polished pair of shoes, "Vitress." Short yet a very good copy for an out-of-home advertisement, to speak nothing of its chiming in with its fast-paced target consumers who are commuter train riders.

Among professional photographers, shutterbugs and specifically those who are not quite gifted with "the eye" (which actually include me), the word "Photoshop," or "photoshop" to be politically correct, is commonplace. Using the word "photoshop" — a registered name for a computer program — to tweak photos gained ground during the 1990s and is as popular today as it was then.

Another popular word of this kind — and easily my favorite — is the ubiquitous "Google," also "google." The search engine's proprietary name has been for years synonymous with "research." That is, if you are going to research for something on the Internet, "google it on Google" (one can use Yahoo! though, just to be fair). Of late I've been wondering what will happen if in the future a much more ace search engine is invented. Would we still use "google"? Or maybe I'm just one of those technology casualties who still are pitiably behindhand of this computer stuffs and unaware that there's already a better "Google" out there. I hope not.

To transfer a file from an electronic device to another one, e.g. from a cellphone to a computer or vice versa, through short-range wireless connection between them, we have been wont to say the colloquial phrase: "Bluetooth it"; "eBay it" when we talk about, yes, that popular online marketplace; and "YouTube it" if we need to watch a video on "the largest video-sharing community" on the Internet.

Indeed, verbing words seems to be the standard nowadays and one can talk about lots of them here, but let's just make this short, can we?