Just so we’re clear, this post is a rant.
I understand that verbing nouns is not going to go away. But one in particular is stuck in my craw.
I finished editing a book yesterday—not a bad book. I don’t want to say anything negative about the book itself—just a word I kept seeing in it.
And that word is gifted.
As in: Ellen gifted the book to her son.
What’s wrong with plain old gave? Gave worked fine. We’ve been using it since English was Old English; though, of course, it was spelled differently back then.
But this is about more than me just being a curmudgeon. There is something about gifted that just sounds snooty. Take a look at these two sentences:
Robert gave his beaten-up, broken-necked guitar to James.
Robert gifted his beaten-up, broken-necked guitar to James.
When you use gifted it sounds like you’re doing some thing more special than just giving something to someone. Like you deserve a medal or a certificate of generosity.
Giving isn’t about being the recipient of praise for doing a kind act. But gifting feels like it is—like the focus is on the giver on and not the recipient.
What do you think?