Verbing: how to social network

Recently I spotted an unusual, if ugly, example of verbing (creating a verb from another part of speech) on the front page of the Independent: "How to social network"

This is interesting because 'network' is already commonly both a noun and a verb; what the Independent has verbed is the entire noun phrase 'social network'. (Compare with 'how to socially network'.)

I suspect the Independent has verbed the noun phrase because of severe space limitations on the cover – otherwise it may have preferred something along the lines of 'guide to social networking' or 'how to use social networks'.

Hmm, I can't find any reference to 'how to social network' on the Independent Online, but here's someone else using the phrase (good article too).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My favorite example of unusual verbing was a sign on the outside of a convenience store here in Florida. The owners were warning underage customers about trying to buy beer and cigarettes. The sign said, "We I.D." What other language could make a verb out of initials? It's what makes my students think they can say, "Nosotros fiesta durante los fines de semana" in Spanish: just take any word, put a subject pronoun in front of it, and voilĂ : a verb!