verbs to nouns

My passion for decorating and cooking shows is not exactly a secret. Some people have CNN, The Weather Channel, or ESPN as their default television channel. I have HGTV, with the Food Network as a backup. As far as vices go, things could be a lot worse.

While watching Property Brothers or The Pioneer Woman, my wordie* hat is still on, and it’s help me notice a new linguistic trend: perfectly good verbs are transforming into nouns at a rapid pace. This is not a completely new phenomenon. After all, when you “walk” (verb) your dog, you are taking “a walk” (noun), But new examples seem to be on the rise.

I blame Trading Spaces. This was the first decorating show that I can remember watching with some regularity. It not only helped launch the careers of legendary carpenters Ty Pennington and Carter Oosterhouse, it may be responsible for the demise of “reveal” (verb). “The reveal” (noun) was the final segment of each episode, when homeowners would see what had been done to their house while they were off decorating elsewhere. The reveal is now a common phrase in our lexicon for any type of unveiling or showing off of a finished product.

Cooking shows are trying hard to keep up. Recipes that formerly called for you to “stir” (verb) the pot, now say to give it “a stir” (noun). And you don’t “taste” (verb) the food, you give it “a taste” (noun). From Giada to Melissa to the gang on to The Kitchen, no one is immune. We’ll have to stay tuned to see what they come up with next.

*If someone who likes food is a foodie, isn’t someone who likes words a wordie?


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