My (probably already-done) idea

I had an idea today, to start a language in which every noun is also a verb. Actually, I would probably just modify English. Doing this would get rid of some verbs, such as set, sit, and type. Instead of saying, “Drop that book and help me sit down so that I can type a paper,” you would instead say “Table that book for a second and help me chair so I can keyboard a paper.” This assumes that you’re talking to someone who is holding a book, you need help sitting down, and you have to type a paper. Based on your situation, you might end up saying something completely different.

This is already the case of some verbs, when we speak of “tabling a motion,” or “being floored.” So it’s not completely new, just to be implemented on a much larger scale.

Based on the little I know of the history of language, I bet that modern English has actually evolved away from something like this. In that case, my idea is pretty much on par with high schoolers thinking it’s cool to wear tie-die shirts. In any case, I would be interested in comments or reflections.

In the words of Calvin, “Verbing weirds language.”

I have enough trouble accepting “impact” as a verb. I hope you won’t be offended if I take a pass on this idea.

My daughter took her life in her hands a couple of years ago and actually wrote a note to her high school English teacher saying that impact was not acceptable as a verb, teacher should be using affect. Fortunately (or not) kid combines exceptional smarts with quite a high cute quotient so she got away with it, although it didn’t make any difference.

Irrelevant to the thread, but I wanted you to know you’re not alone, even though it’s a losing battle. :wink:

The problem that occurs to me is that I don’t know what you’d do for items that have more than one use. “Help me chair” might mean ‘help me sit down,’ or ‘give me a chair to stand on,’ or anything else you might use a chair for. I’m not sure how you’d make the distinction.

Yep, it has already been done. Check out the description of “Newspeak” in the appendix to 1984:

According to Orwell, this type of language would be ideal for mindless totalitarian propaganda :eek: , which is probably not what you had in mind :smiley: !

Luis Borges has a story called “Tlon (something) (something)” that imagines a language with no nouns, but adjectives instead.

url=]Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius

I assume this is the story; my vision is too blurry to make it through more than a few paragraphs.

I really ought to be bedding right now.

Let’s try that again:

Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius

Aww, hell! Um, I mean, no, no…that’s not what I was thinking at all…
Let’s see…Plan B…Plan B…

I think you’ve put your finger on the problem. Real simplicity comes when the same words mean anything you need them to. Once we have that, we can then all agree on a single word, or even a syllable, that replaces all the complicated verbiage that we now have to endure.