Problem Verbs (And Gerunds)

Problematic because they are newfangled and ugly.


Seen in a recent lawyer blog post: The court errored when …

Nope. It erred or made an error.

To paraphrase the poet, to err is human; to error is unforgivable.


We correctly refer to the skilled trades, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to turn skill into a verb.

Even worse are those jargony hybrids, reskill and upskill, and their derivatives reskilling and upskilling. (Can one ever downskill?)

You mean training, learning, acquiring new skills.


Typically a noun, but halfway to a verb in the dreadful visioning that people seem to be doing in (probably equally dreadful) team-building exercises.

One envisions, one sees.

Neil Guthrie (@guthrieneil)

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