Friday, March 10, 2006


I was in a meeting recently and heard this sentence, which I quickly wrote down:
How do we executionalize that?
I passed this around to my colleagues, one of whom made the comment "Dang, someone's been to Suffix Mart." (Someone else said "cruelly and unusually, of course.")

I suspect this was a slip of the tongue, although even there, it has the form of grammatical correctness, i.e., it's still following rules for verbing. I can kind of see how we get there. At work, a phrase that's popular is execute crisply, as in We need to execute crisply on that. To accomplish that task, you need crisp execution. If you want crisp execution, you need to executionalize crisply. See how that works?

I'm sure there are other examples of verbs (I can't think of any at the moment, but I'm just sure, ok?) that follow the development pattern of verb -> nouned verb -> re-verbed noun in new form. If you can think of any, by all means, drop a comment.

Update 3/24/06 I heard the same person use this term again today. So it's not just a slip of the tongue. Google: zero hits, except as noted on this blog.


Anonymous said...

I just came across "protestation" in a comment in another blog; as in "x is deserving of protestation." I'm not sure how that got re-nouned - I guess they didn't realize that 'protest' could be both a verb and a noun, so it needed some suffixationalizing

Thomas McAllister said...

I remember a Simpsons episode in which precisely this kind of construction was satirized; I think it involved delivery men coming to 'installate' something.