Sunday, November 13, 2005

Northwest makes "gift" a verb and "dine" a noun

Northwest Airlines is in serious trouble: they are bankrupt, and their stock, once worth over $30 a share, is now worth about 50 cents a share.

Never mind their financial woes; they are busy assaulting the English language.

For months now I've cringed whenever NWA urges me to "gift" frequent flyer miles to some person or charity. We've had an English verb for this for centuries, and the word is "give," not "gift."

But now Northwest, in concert with its partner "Dining for Miles," adds insult to injury. This program gives (not "gifts") you frequent flyer miles when you use a registered credit card at a participating restaurant. A new promotion gives you extra credit for each -- I am not making this up -- for each "dine."

That's right. According to Northwest Airlines, "gift" is now a verb and "dine" is now a noun.

There is a reason why I own the Internet domain