Have you noticed how nouns are sneaking round behind our backs, playing musical chairs, with the verbs? When the music stops, there they are sitting in the verbs’ chairs. Let me be more precise – not all nouns, just some, and it’s not really happening behind our backs, it’s going on right in front of our eyes. The reason we can’t see the move is because we can’t see into the TV. The big switcheroo takes place inside the TV – on the other side of the glass.
(Come on, don’t tell me you never thought there was actually a world going on inside your TV. Think back when you were three or four?)
Take the word, medal. Out here on my side of the screne, it’s a noun as in “Once I ran a race and I won a gold medal.”
But Sunday I was watching a wrap-up of the Olympics and the sports talking head said “Michael Phelps failed to medal in the 400mm race so he won’t be on the podium.” See the talking head inside the glass knows about medal’s switcheroo.
And how about plate? Plate’s taken the plunge, too. I was watching the sports report on the nightly news and another sports talking head was giving a breakdown of the Yankee game. He said that Derek Jeter hit a double that plated Alex Rodriguez. I watched the replay and I think it means since Rodriguez was on third base he was able to run to home plate and score before the outfielder caught Jeter’s ball. I say I think, because out here in my world on the couch when I say plate it’s in a sentence like
My oh my, I could go for a plate of spaghetti around about now.
Ah, speaking of spaghetti, the foodie chefs inside the TV got the word about plate making the move. But their version is not the same as the sports version. I saw Bobby Flay or Emeril Lagasse,or someone like that, take a piece of pistachio-encrusted salmon and slide it from the pan onto a plate. Only he didn’t say slide. He said “now I’ll plate the fish.” Martha Stewart said it once too, on The Today Show, only she was plating a few spoonfuls of scalloped potatoes that had to go just so, next to the french green almondine, without any straying onto the herb-marinated chicken.
And, missing, what’s the deal with missing? I know missing is an adjective, but missing seems afraid to appear on TV without his verb-bodyguard, went. Maybe he’s afraid he’ll get lost if he goes by himself and then missing will be missing. Only the talking heads will announce that missing went missing. Nobody on the news is just plain missing anymore.
They all went missing. That one really gets me riled up.
Went missing, in my world that’s not even correct grammar.
Doesn’t went need a preposition like to as in the child went to his friend’s house
Or with, as in the child went with his friend?
Uh oh, now I’m shouting. I feel like John Belushi on the old Saturday Night Live skit where he plays a news commentator who gets so riled up he falls off his stool.
Maybe times have changed and nouns are verbs and went and missing are an item. So I’ll just be like Gilda Radner’s character in the same SNL skit and bow out with an apologetic . “Oh, never mind.”
Uh-oh, mind. Is that a noun or a verb?