I have been thinking about your assertions, Michael, about the meaning of
the -ise suffix - or, as you say, ‘how it works’. As with most assertions
in linguistics, this seems to have some counter-examples. What about
‘criticise’? This doesn't mean to make someone a critic or to make them
critical. Other examples aren't so well-established: I thought of 'diarise'
(maybe you'd never say that) and 'televise', and maybe even 'terrorise'.
Those are all relatively new words.
On Tue, 14 Aug 2018 at 9:49 am, Michael Lewis <mlewis@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
There is, indeed, a "licence to -ise or -ize" a lot of things; it's what's
called a productive suffix. The problem isn't the act of neologising
itself; it's a failure to understand how it works. F'rinstance, I doubt
whether anyone on this list would object to "randomise" or "industrialise",
both of which start with an adjective, or "capitalise", which starts with a
noun. But in all those cases the relationship between the "-ise" word and
the root is something along the lines of "make the root a characteristic of
whatever you are applying the new word to". Make it random, make it
industrial, turn it into capital. But "laymanise" appears to mean (or at
least it's inventor appears to want it to mean) "make it suitable for a lay
person". (Howard's example of "laicise" means that, albeit in a rather
specialised sense, because it means "make lay", or "make non-clerical".)
All that said, an earlier post assigned blame to marketing people, and I
have yet to see any marketing person (or even a person suffering from a
marketing mindset) worry about "understanding how language works"; for
them, language is a lump of putty to be shaped at will and forced into any
convenient orifice. Usually they appear to insert it into the wrong
orifice, but they don't care . . .
- Michael Lewis
On 2018/08/14 09:16, Peter Martin wrote:
Well, there you go. Looks like a licence to -ise or -ize anything you
like. I'm off to toastize a couple of crumpets and get grumpy over
being found out as an old grumpised pedant.
Apparently the New York Times is to blame. And here I was thinking
Trump couldn't get anything right....