I hear a word slipping away — a word we need this time of year. That word is “gift.” It is being misused, and the more it’s used badly, the more likely we are to lose a word. When we don’t know whether we’ve lost “gift” or “give,” we will be in big trouble.
If you are shopping for presents this time of year, you are going to give them to others — but I keep hearing more and more people, usually in official contexts, saying things “will be gifted” or people “will gift them.”
Thinking of my school years, when I hear of gifted things, I wonder how smart they are. “Gifted” at school was used for people who had been given many, or outstanding, talents.
What’s wrong with “will be given” or “will give?” Nothing, that’s what… except that, as I shudder to think, they seem to be fading from use. Are we as a nation that bad at the grammar of our native language? Are people who don’t have some variety of English as their native language being held to such low standards?
So go ahead, conjugate your verbs. Give them a gift! It’ll help save the majestic variety of the English language.
Filed under: Words Worth Defending