A close reader, Richard W. Chapman was bothered by an item that appeared in Arkansas's foremost weekly journal of news, politics and entertainment: "Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken is coming to the River Market in the former space occupied by Redbone's Downtown."
"Perhaps that should be 'is coming to the space in the River Market formerly occupied by Redbone's Downtown,' " Chapman writes. "I'm not sure this was an error, but it just didn't seem right to me. The space is still there, so it isn't 'former space.' I think."
The syntax would be OK if you read "the former space occupied by Redbone's Downtown" as an entity." It's true the space is still there, but the space occupied by Redbone's isn't. But I agree with Chapman that "the space in the River Market formerly occupied by Redbone's Downtown" is better.
We've talked before about the fad of turning verbs into nouns when there's already a perfectly good noun available. I've now seen reveal used as a noun so often that I'm starting to wonder if the last book in the Bible will be renamed The Book of Reveal.
And they just keep coming. "In a logical, 'more Spock-like world,' said Glenn Thrush in Politico.com, the news that the economy shrank in the final quarter of 2012 would prove to Republicans that America can't afford the looming, automatic spending cuts known as the 'sequester.' ... But having lost the fiscal-cliff and debt-ceiling showdowns to President Obama, Republicans are now saying the sequester is preferable to no cuts at all."
In my unabridged, sequester is a verb only ("to remove or withdraw; separate"). The noun is sequestration. To say "the sequester" makes about as much sense as saying "the withdraw," or "Tim Bucktew and his missus are having a trial separate."
Maybe those of us who dislike this affectation should retaliate by turning nouns into verbs. "I wish President Obama would drone the guy responsible for all this verbal abuse." "Yeah, drone him before the sequester hits."
"If you don't bring that energy every night or come out and not focus for a half, you put yourself and a hole and lose games." You put yourself and a hole where? The former space occupied by Redbone's Downtown?
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