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The Made-Up Words We Love to Use Too Often

Verbs become nouns, nouns become verbs, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria!
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At least once today you probably encountered a trendy trend where the use of words is concerned: Nouning and Verbing.

Verbing is easy.  Take a word that is a verb and turn it into a noun. Instantly it sounds cooler, fresher, hipper... more now.

Nouning is a little trickier, but nothing you can't handle. Turn a noun into a verb, place it in the perfect spot... and now you're cutting-edge.

Here are some examples of verbing:

Architect.

As in, "Let's architect the perfect database structure." And don't forget that while to architect is human, to re-architect might be divine.

Effort.

As in, "Mark, let's effort a meeting with their V.P. of sales." And, if we do manage to set up said meeting...

Get.

As in, "Mark, setting up the meeting with their V.P. of sales was a huge get." And, if we manage to pull off an unexpected sale as the result of the meeting...

Ask.

As in, "That sale was a huge ask for a company with a limited budget--well done Mark!" (Mark is clearly superstarred.)

Guilt.

As in, "He guilted me into coming to the meeting." Or, "He guilted me into helping him finish the project." Or, "He knew it was a big ask so he guilted me into agreeing." (Double cool points!)

Conference.

As in, "This is a discussion best limited to a few people; we should mini-conference about it tomorrow." (I've always wanted to attend a mini-conference; do you get to make mini-decisions?)

Dialogue.

As in, "We'll dialogue about the value of posts like this later." (And hopefully you'll awesome posts like these!)

Here are some examples of nouning:

Solve.

As in, "We really need to find a solve for this predicament." Or, "Mark's solve was particularly elegant."

Envision.

As in, "The best envision is one that creates a solve for all our problems." (More double cool points!)

Submit.

As in, "That is easily the best submit you've ever pulled together." (Well done you!)

Recover.

As in, "Mark's recover easily wins the Best Handling of a Major Customer Complaint Award." (Mark is still the man.)

And as a bonus, here's a nounified adjective:

Impacted.

As in, "Mark definitely impacted the sale." Even though an impaction is a physical problem wherein the colon is packed with fecal matter. (Suddenly Mark's not quite so wonderful.)

Now it's your turn. Are nounifying and verbifying no big deal?

Or are they ways people use to sound more "inside"? And if so, what are some of your favorite examples?

** The "cats and dogs living together" line is from Ghostbusters. Bonus points if you got that.

IMAGE: Getty Images
Last updated: May 28, 2014

JEFF HADEN | Columnist

Jeff Haden learned much of what he knows about business and technology as he worked his way up in the manufacturing industry. Everything else he picks up from ghostwriting books for some of the smartest leaders he knows in business.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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