#1  
Old 08-16-2019, 09:14 AM
dhricenak is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 15

Meaning of Flooring


I work for a company that manufactures consumer appliances. Recently we were told in an employee app that weekend overtime was scheduled because the company was "flooring new products." I assume this was supposed to mean putting stuff on the sales floor but none of the online dictionaries I consulted recognize that usage. Is this a legitimate meaning that hasn't made the dictionaries yet or just another example of corporate semi-literacy?
  #2  
Old 08-16-2019, 09:56 AM
Saintly Loser is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 3,282
Sounds like just another instance of businessspeak to me.
  #3  
Old 08-16-2019, 11:37 AM
Tim@T-Bonham.net is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 14,978
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhricenak View Post
or just another example of corporate semi-literacy?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintly Loser View Post
Sounds like just another instance of businessspeak to me.
Yes, an email from an idiot.
But I'd suggest making sure your resume is up-to-date -- companies run by such idiots often don't survive.
  #4  
Old 08-16-2019, 11:45 AM
Darren Garrison's Avatar
Darren Garrison is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 11,487
Anyone who verbs nouns is idioting themselves.
  #5  
Old 08-16-2019, 12:25 PM
dtilque is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: My own private Nogero
Posts: 7,040
Verbing nouns (and nouning verbs) is a long established practice in English. It goes back probably as far as the language itself does. At least modern English, but I wouldn't be surprised if earlier versions of the language did it too.

As far as being in the dictionary: those don't have every meaning of every word in use. They're always behind, struggling mightily to keep up with the changes in the language. And always miss a lot of definitions in use only among subgroups of people. For example, I know of two different verb meanings of the word "taco", and I don't expect either to make it into general purpose dictionaries.
  #6  
Old 08-16-2019, 06:28 PM
Banksiaman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,000
If it was a retail context, my assumption on hearing 'flooring' would be that they were spending the weekend bumping out old display stock at their shop(s), and putting in new goods. If its a place that has demonstration cook-tops and kitchens that need to be connected to plumbing and so on, that sort of stuff it can be messy.

Otherwise its lazy English and they should be fired / redeployed / de-tasked / sent on indefinite gardening leave.
  #7  
Old 08-16-2019, 06:59 PM
dtilque is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: My own private Nogero
Posts: 7,040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banksiaman View Post
Otherwise its lazy English and they should be fired / redeployed / de-tasked / sent on indefinite gardening leave.
Disagree strongly on this. Verbing nouns is a way of communicating something that would otherwise take a phrase or even a whole sentence to convey. Since it's not confusing anyone, it's actually a good thing to do, especially if you need to communicate that concept frequently.
  #8  
Old 08-16-2019, 06:59 PM
am77494 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 1,749
My guess is that flooring is used in the “flooring the gas pedal” context.
  #9  
Old 08-16-2019, 07:04 PM
Banksiaman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,000
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
Disagree strongly on this. Verbing nouns is a way of communicating something that would otherwise take a phrase or even a whole sentence to convey. Since it's not confusing anyone, it's actually a good thing to do, especially if you need to communicate that concept frequently.
Agree in principle, and happy when I hear teams 'versing' each other for example.

OP's issue seems to be its ambiguity, and verbing should be adding clarity rather than losing it.

Perhaps I was too harsh in calling for sacking - just demotion and fined 6 weks pay?
  #10  
Old 08-16-2019, 08:09 PM
dtilque is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: My own private Nogero
Posts: 7,040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Banksiaman View Post
Agree in principle, and happy when I hear teams 'versing' each other for example.

OP's issue seems to be its ambiguity, and verbing should be adding clarity rather than losing it.
The OP understood the meaning perfectly.1 The only confusion was because the definition wasn't in dictionaries. I explained above why these kinds of meanings often aren't.



1 The meanings of verbed nouns (and vice versa) are virtually always rather obvious, if not to everyone, at least to those people within a specific subgroup where the usage occurs.
  #11  
Old 08-16-2019, 09:40 PM
glowacks is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 2,198
Used car dealers will "floor" vehicles by asking to borrow money against the vehicle which they will repay when the car sells. The list of vehicles that they have outstanding loans against is their "floor plan". But that's not how it's being used here.

I thought this was going to be some highly abstracted tech-speak, but this use is fairly standard sales and marketing talk. That one doesn't see it in a dictionary is not too surprising, given the speed at which new words can take on new, related meanings. Maybe you'd like the job to pour over the dictionary and look for words that you know are used in ways not already described?
  #12  
Old 08-16-2019, 10:29 PM
EdelweissPirate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Portland, OR USA
Posts: 584
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtilque View Post
Verbing nouns (and nouning verbs) is a long established practice in English. It goes back probably as far as the language itself does.
Yes; douchebags have been speaking English as long as the rest of us.

Of course verbing isn’t new. While the practice may be legitimate, it seems to me that corporate dilettantes are heavily overrepresented among verbers.

Verbing isn’t always bad, and sometimes it’s very convenient for just the reasons you mention. But verbing is often just a banal way to highfalute.
  #13  
Old 08-16-2019, 11:09 PM
steepone is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 29
using the word Flooring as described in the OP is not lazy English or corporate speak, it's just a case of industry specific jargon

every industry has words and phrases that mean one thing within that industry but would mean something totally different to any outsider

as far as verbing nouns, verbing is in itself an example of this
  #14  
Old 08-16-2019, 11:51 PM
guizot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: An East Hollywood dingbat
Posts: 8,677
What other single word-verb would communicate this idea? The OP understands it to mean put stuff on the sales floor. If you have to use that clumsy phrase over and over again when instead there is a simple, single word that conveys the idea to all those involved, this is not "business speak," but natural usage that happens in many communities of practice.

To use the term "verbing a noun" presumes that all words intrinsically exist as specific parts of speech, (as though God declared that word X could only be noun, or something), and there is no basis for this. The relatively limited morphology of English means that syntax plays a large part in determining the grammatical function of words, and English speakers take advantage of that.

I get that people at times devise unnatural expressions unnecessarily (e.g., "business speak"), but this case doesn't seem like that to me. It's natural and more efficient than the alternative (put [stuff] on the sales floor).

This is how many, many new meanings come about, and they often become generally accepted. If we can use bike, elbow, text, or friend as verbs, why not floor?
  #15  
Old 08-17-2019, 12:13 AM
guizot is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: An East Hollywood dingbat
Posts: 8,677
(in other words, what dtilque said.)
  #16  
Old 08-17-2019, 12:23 AM
PatrickLondon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: London
Posts: 3,519
Quote:
Originally Posted by glowacks View Post
Maybe you'd like the job to pour over the dictionary and look for words that you know are used in ways not already described?
You've just given one, though I suspect you meant "pore".
  #17  
Old 08-17-2019, 01:59 AM
dtilque is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: My own private Nogero
Posts: 7,040
Quote:
Originally Posted by guizot View Post
(in other words, what dtilque said.)
Hey, what you said was pretty good, too. I especially liked the recent examples of text and friend as verbs. They certainly were't verbs when I grew up, but they should make it into dictionaries if they haven't already.

ETA: I just checked M-W's site and they already have them.

Last edited by dtilque; 08-17-2019 at 02:03 AM.
  #18  
Old 08-17-2019, 02:09 AM
bob++ is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Worcestershire UK
Posts: 6,728
If we are complaining about annoying instances of turning nouns into verbs (is that 'verbing') I nominate 'medal' as used in major sporting events like the Olympics.

"they medalled in all the relay events"
"Returning to the non-medalling also-rans, the picture becomes even more confused."
  #19  
Old 08-17-2019, 05:34 AM
Kzbre5m is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 132
Plate or Plating is another one. "I want you to plate this and send it to the table."
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:49 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017