Thursday, October 30, 2008

I may as well admit it. I have become my sixth-grade English teacher, Mrs. Wills.

I realize I've become Mrs. Wills because I keep finding the word "crater" used as a verb in the New York Times, and all I can do is cluck my tongue. Not out loud, I mentally cluck my tongue. But very vigorously and at length.

Crater the noun and cratered the adjective I am familiar with, but since when did crater become a verb meaning "collapsing"? I blame John McCain, who David Letterman reported - over and over - that McCain had cancelled his appearance on the show because "the economy is cratering."

So why is everyone at the New York Times suddenly obsessed with cratering? Here and here, for instance.

Isn't it amazing that with everything happening in the world, I find myself complaining about some stupid little grammar point, as if it weren't actually me witnessing the birth of a new verb.

Please save me from my curmudgeonly self.

The Swedish word for the day is krater. It is the noun crater in Swedish. As far as I can tell, there is no verb form.

- by Francis S.

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