Maxine Davis responded to our treatment of loathe in a way we did not expect. However, she raises a point with which many other careful speakers agree. Here is her comment and my reply:
“My loathing for the verbalization of nouns makes me loathe statements such as the one about Prudence Pender’s being ‘ambulanced to the emergency room’!”
“I do realize that this annoying trend is popular; although I am loath to admit it.”
“[I am] Enjoying the good word daily.”
Where would you air a pet peeve about language but before the good Dr. Goodword? He is delighted to see that you practicing the Good Word even as you complain about his description of it.
This is a malady I cannot cure but I can explain why it occurs in English in a way it does not in other European languages. Verbing nouns (if you’ll excuse the expression) is frequently criticized these days and has been for a decade or so. As Calvin and Hobbes (I forget which) put it years ago: “Verbing weirds things.”
English encourages widespread verbing because it has so few affixes that are demanded by grammar. Nouns in most other European languages require a variety of endings whose choice depends on how they are used in the sentence. Rules of grammar preclude those endings from being replaced by verbal endings.
English has lost most of its morphology, which includes affixation, so nothing prevents the use of nouns as verbs or verbs as nouns, or either as adjectives. (I wonder why using verbs as nouns doesn’t pique anyone: a swing, a hit, a walk, and so on?) The noun hit looks exactly like the verb hit. The plural hits is identical to the one verbal form, 3rd person singular hits.
In German, however, der Schlag, die Schläge (hit, hits) is quite different from schlagen “to hit”: ich schlage “I hit”, du schlägst “you hit”, er schlägt “he hits”. Nouns are nouns, adjectives are adjectives, and verbs are verbs in French, German, Russian, Finnish, Hungarian, and most other European languages.
So there is no cure but the good news is, it isn’t fatal.