Clearly "login" is not a verb. It's simply not.
June 24, 2010 12:15 PM   Subscribe

 
As a programmer I couldn't agree more. You have a "login", and you use it to "log in".
posted by mrnutty at 12:16 PM on June 24, 2010 [11 favorites]


This is ridiculous, people around the globe are loginning to Metafilter all of the time!
posted by soma lkzx at 12:17 PM on June 24, 2010 [9 favorites]


He's one of those guys who screams at people for saying "ATM machine" or "NIC card", isn't he?

I bet he's a big hit at parties.
posted by bondcliff at 12:20 PM on June 24, 2010 [24 favorites]


"My use of language is correct and your use of language is incorrect, and I must lecture on this topic even though I am incapable of using spellcheck to make sure I spell conjgate . . . errr . . . conjugate correctly throughout my screed."

snore
posted by Seamus at 12:21 PM on June 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


Ha! This is one of my many grammatical pet peeves. It's "to log in", just as it's "to check in", "to walk on", and "to fly over". "Login" is the noun form, much like "flyover" or "checkout".
posted by ixohoxi at 12:21 PM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


But loggin' is still a verb, right?

And is Kenny Loggins' name grammatically correct?
posted by The World Famous at 12:21 PM on June 24, 2010


From the linked rebuttal:
New Type: Voltron Verbs

...

Such verbs share with Voltron the characteristics of splitting apart as well as being hallmarks of the future, guides to a new era.
posted by enn at 12:22 PM on June 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


Thou shalt not get all prescriptivist over terms that are less than five years old.
posted by Trochanter at 12:23 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Login is not a verb dot com is not a website dot com
posted by boo_radley at 12:24 PM on June 24, 2010


Mine is people who say "wait on line". What the fuck?
posted by nathancaswell at 12:25 PM on June 24, 2010 [12 favorites]


I think we broke it?
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:25 PM on June 24, 2010


"Login" is less than five years old?
posted by scrowdid at 12:25 PM on June 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


I would really like to know what establishes something to be a noun or a verb until the end of time. These conversations are just so boring.

I also think you lose any argument whose main tenet is
"Unfortunately, not a single one of those sounds right."
posted by pmv at 12:26 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thou shalt not get all prescriptivist over terms that are less than five years old.

No that's the best time -- before it's too late!
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:26 PM on June 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Thou shalt not get all prescriptivist over terms that are less than five years old.

Just when do you think computers were invented?
posted by mrnutty at 12:26 PM on June 24, 2010 [10 favorites]


It's my English and I'm gonna English however Englishy my English Englishes and just you try to reEnglish me, you prescriptivist buffalo.

FWIW, loggin' is a gerund. Ha!
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:27 PM on June 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm glad there are grammar crusaders out there. Ugh, people who don't know how to use English bug me alot.
posted by naju at 12:28 PM on June 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


People like this make me froth with rage so I'm going to leave this here and logout.
posted by desjardins at 12:28 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Login is not a verb dot com is not a website dot com

True! Websites have navigation, color schemes, and page layouts, all of which loginisnotaverb.com lacks.
posted by echo target at 12:29 PM on June 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


If "login" as a verb was good enough for Charles Babbage, by God, it's good enough for us.
posted by crunchland at 12:30 PM on June 24, 2010


I haven't yet decided what that site is full of, win or fail.
posted by bondcliff at 12:30 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mine is people who say "wait on line". What the fuck?

I think that's a regional variation.
posted by not that girl at 12:31 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


english is an evolving language go learn latin if this is a problem dot com
posted by NoraReed at 12:31 PM on June 24, 2010 [17 favorites]


I have this argument at work more often than you might expect.

"So ... should the button say 'Login' ... or should it say 'Log In'?"

This leads to debates on hyphen placement.
posted by grabbingsand at 12:32 PM on June 24, 2010


Language Log
posted by Dumsnill at 12:32 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


There once was a curious word
That everyone thought was a verb
"It's not!", someone cried
"That verb is a lie!"
Loggins is the greatest I've heard
posted by quadog at 12:32 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


HSBC agree, but according to them, "Logoff" is a verb.
posted by griphus at 12:33 PM on June 24, 2010


This is just dumb. No one is remotely confused by the use of "login" as a verb. It may not properly apply to grammar rules, but this guy can suckit. There are so many more egregious and nonsensical things written frequently on the internet. People constantly write "ur" to mean "your" which doesn't even make sense as it would be pronounced as "you are." I suppose that could indicate some sort of postmodern commentary on the oft-mistaken your/you're issues that people have, but somehow I doubt it. As a manner of conveying information "login" works perfectly well with as far as I can see, no chance of failing to convey the correct information.
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:34 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Workout" is my not-a-verb pet peeve. You can do a workout, but you're going to work out.
posted by fiercecupcake at 12:34 PM on June 24, 2010


No one is remotely confused by the use of "login" as a verb.

Avoiding confusion is not the only purpose of language.
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:36 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mine is people who say "wait on line". What the fuck?

You mean "New Yorkers?" Yeah. What the fuck.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:36 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


No one is remotely confused by the use of "login" as a verb.

True. Just like no one is remotely confused by the use of "siton" as a verb. And, like "siton," "login" is a misspelling of "Log in."
posted by The World Famous at 12:38 PM on June 24, 2010


Thou shalt not get all prescriptivist over terms that are less than five years old.


Uh.
posted by floam at 12:38 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


So am I not supposed to say 'passersby' anymore?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:38 PM on June 24, 2010


Avoiding confusion is not the only purpose of language.
posted by Jaltcoh


No, but the main purpose is conveying information. When writing informally it seems to be a waste of time to get worked up about something that succeeds at this goal.
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:38 PM on June 24, 2010


It's simply not.
posted by dammitjim at 12:39 PM on June 24, 2010


He may not like to login, but he sure likes to jerkoff.
posted by Elmore at 12:40 PM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


So am I not supposed to say 'passersby' anymore?

You can continue saying it. But when you write it, you should probably spell it the right way, or people will think it's prounounced "passers-bee."
posted by The World Famous at 12:40 PM on June 24, 2010


True. Just like no one is remotely confused by the use of "siton" as a verb. And, like "siton," "login" is a misspelling of "Log in."
posted by The World Famous


Siton doesn't have a reason for existing (that I can think of) and doesn't really apply because there is no noun siton. Login as a verb evolved naturally from the noun usage.
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:41 PM on June 24, 2010


How am I meant to spell it?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:41 PM on June 24, 2010


Mine is people who say "wait on line". What the fuck?

I think that's a regional variation.


I believe that is a New York thing. It is so much more impersonal, though, don't you think? Waiting in line implies that you are within a group of people, all sharing a fate. When you wait on line you are not important; you are a cog following a painted line on the floor. I miss New York.
posted by bitslayer at 12:41 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


So am I not supposed to say 'passersby' anymore?

You can continue saying it. But when you write it, you should probably spell it the right way


He did spell it the right way. It's not a hyphenated word.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:43 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Siton doesn't have a reason for existing (that I can think of) and doesn't really apply because there is no noun siton. Login as a verb evolved naturally from the noun usage.

Login doesn't have a reason for existing as a verb, either, since the correct spelling ("log in") is the term from which the noun "login" is derived.
posted by The World Famous at 12:44 PM on June 24, 2010


*sigh*

Next you're going to tell me that google isn't a verb, either.



Also: This is the linguistic equivalent of Custer's last stand.
posted by jnrussell at 12:44 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


He did spell it the right way. It's not a hyphenated word.

Confound it. I hate it when I'm wrong.
posted by The World Famous at 12:45 PM on June 24, 2010


This is just dumb. No one is remotely confused by the use of "login" as a verb.

This is what I thought at first, but then I realized what verb-like uses of login were raising objections.

I don't know about confusion, but I think many people find it awkward. Present tense first and second person is straightforward, but it gets ugly in other forms. "He logins", "I loginned", "Hold on a second, I'm loginning!"
posted by mr_roboto at 12:46 PM on June 24, 2010


This is the linguistic equivalent of Custer's last stand.

I don't know about that. I think that the non-present-tense-first-and-second person verb forms of "login" are awkward enough to prevent widespread adoption.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:47 PM on June 24, 2010


Confound it. I hate it when I'm wrong.

If it's any consolation, I'll never be able to see it and not think "passersbee" from now on.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:47 PM on June 24, 2010


Login doesn't have a reason for existing as a verb, either, since the correct spelling ("log in") is the term from which the noun "login" is derived.
posted by The World Famous


I get your point and I don't even disagree with it really. But surely a missing space is the least egregious misspelling of the infinite number people seem to come out with constantly?
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:47 PM on June 24, 2010


"Login" is less than five years old?

"Login" as a sometimes spaced ("log in"), sometimes hyphenated ("log-in") noun form derived from a verb + preposition form is, judging by the OED, at least 45 years old. Its use as a verb is natural and trivially parsable, which is why people do that.

It does not have to end up fully regularized to be real; that people don't (at this point at least) often say "loginned" instead of "logged in" does not make v. "login" as a natural variant of "log in" some kind of non-word.
posted by cortex at 12:48 PM on June 24, 2010 [6 favorites]


But surely a missing space is the least egregious misspelling of the infinite number people seem to come out with constantly?

Hey, man, I'm still reeling from passersby. I'm not the one to ask, clearly.
posted by The World Famous at 12:49 PM on June 24, 2010


I'm saying descriptively login is not a verb, though if you look at the Language Log post, there are a few observations of it being used that way in the wild.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:49 PM on June 24, 2010


Sometimes "log" is used to refer to a "poop."
posted by mullacc at 12:52 PM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


So, do you "log into" or "log in to"?
posted by frecklefaerie at 12:53 PM on June 24, 2010


Why do these grammar things always turn in to such a big deal?
posted by orme at 12:53 PM on June 24, 2010


Similarly, I find very little sense in TV and radio commercials to "log on to" or "click on" web addresses. Clearly, I cannot do that unless your provide me with a link. Is it so hard to say "visit localcarcompany(dot)com" versus "click on?"
posted by moviehawk at 12:54 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, do you "log into" or "log in to"?

Neither. You "loginto."
posted by The World Famous at 12:55 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sometimes "log" is used to refer to a "poop."
posted by mullacc


Is this what Barack Obama wants for Africa? For us to eat the login of our children?
posted by haveanicesummer at 12:57 PM on June 24, 2010


No, but the main purpose is conveying information. When writing informally it seems to be a waste of time to get worked up about something that succeeds at this goal.

Well, again, I simply disagree that as long as you "convey information" you should be totally satisfied with what you've written. Writing can be pretty bad and still convey the intended information. Of course you're right that the standards are lower for informal writing, but the web is the most common context for "log in" (or "login"), so I'm happy to see a webpage that clarifies this usage point.
posted by Jaltcoh at 12:58 PM on June 24, 2010


Could somebody make a PRESCRIPTIVIST HULK Twitter account, please? You'd have my undying admiration if you did...
posted by .kobayashi. at 1:01 PM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


No, btu teh mian prupsoe is coneying infomartion. Wen writin' infarmolly it semes 2 be a wayste o' thyme 2 git wrked uppabout some thing dat suckseeds at dis gole.
posted by The World Famous at 1:03 PM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


there is no noun siton

No, but there is a noun form for situpon, although opinions clearly vary on how it is spelled.
posted by yarrow at 1:03 PM on June 24, 2010


Obligatory Christ, what an asshole.
posted by msbutah at 1:05 PM on June 24, 2010


It seems to me that even 'log in' is a little bit arbitrary at this point. When did the word 'log' become synonymous with "Enter username and password on a website or service"?

So, if you're going to really hold a serious position about the incorrectness of 'login' as a verb, maybe consider that 'log in' wasn't necessarily inscribed in stone from the language gods as the definitive choice of words for this particular activity.
posted by kingbenny at 1:09 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, "PRESCRIPTIVIST HULK SMASH VERBIFICATION OF NOUNS! THEN SMASH WORD 'VERBIFICATION!' HULK LOOK AT YOU, 'LOGIN'..." or something like that.
posted by .kobayashi. at 1:11 PM on June 24, 2010


Seeing this, I knew that Friend is not a verb.com would exist. It's polite about it, though.
posted by Gary at 1:12 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


This site is dedicated to educating people about the common misuses of words like "login."

If a misuse is common enough it's no longer a misuse.
posted by rocket88 at 1:27 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


If a misuse is common enough it's no longer a misuse.

Really? Its not a misuse if its used as often as it's usage permits?
posted by The World Famous at 1:29 PM on June 24, 2010


If a misuse is common enough it's no longer a misuse.

Supposably? Irregardless? For all intensive purposes, you mean? Oh, come on. You're just wrong on that one, sorry.
posted by heyho at 1:30 PM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


If a misuse is common enough it's no longer a misuse.

Your right.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:34 PM on June 24, 2010 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: This is just dumb.
posted by leapfrog at 1:34 PM on June 24, 2010


I use login alot.
posted by jeffamaphone at 1:35 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Verbing is awesome.
posted by kmz at 1:38 PM on June 24, 2010


Verbing is awesome.

Awesoming is better.
posted by The World Famous at 1:43 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't care about login/log in. I care deeply about "instore" as used in flyers in the bright and cheerful fashion of: See instore for details! Not kidding. It is happening. As far as I am concerned, the only thing in store for merchants asking me to "see instore" instead of "see store" or possibly "see in-store" is my absence from their premises.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:43 PM on June 24, 2010


Its' a big deal when miner grammatical mis-takes croppup. It really drive's me up awol.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:47 PM on June 24, 2010


If a misuse is common enough it's no longer a misuse.

Supposably? Irregardless? For all intensive purposes, you mean? Oh, come on. You're just wrong on that one, sorry.


The examples you (and others) give just aren't common enough to qualify. Try the misuse of "beg the question"( to mean "elicit the question") being so common as to become an accepted definition by M-W. This language of ours is soft and malleable.
posted by rocket88 at 1:52 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


The examples you (and others) give just aren't common enough to qualify.

Really? The examples I gave were misuses of "its" and "it's." How much more common than those does something have to be in order to no longer be a misuse?
posted by The World Famous at 1:53 PM on June 24, 2010


If a misuse is common enough it's no longer a misuse.

Hey, yeah! Let me try:

If a crime is committed enough times, it's no longer a crime.

OR:

If a rule is broken enough times, it's no longer a rule.

...

Nope. Not one of these examples works.
posted by grubi at 1:55 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Someone make the website www.loginistotallyaverb.com.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:56 PM on June 24, 2010


Suffife it to fay, Engleish is an unchanging entity, proof againft ye vagarief of tyme &c.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:58 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


His attempt at being Dr. Seuss is really pathetic.
posted by stormpooper at 2:00 PM on June 24, 2010


Nope. Not one of these examples works.

Because they're non sequiturs.

How much more common than those does something have to be in order to no longer be a misuse?

Obviously more than they are now, I guess. But it depends on whose authority gets to define what's an accepted use. The dictionary (one authority) is full of words that used to be misuses that are now acceptable. Some ignorant people once started dropping the 'u' in colour, and look what happened to that.
posted by rocket88 at 2:00 PM on June 24, 2010


Well, it's nice to know that English has finally reached its final, perfect form.
posted by Pyry at 2:02 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


shakespeherian : So am I not supposed to say 'passersby' anymore?

We have to be able to say it because passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood. Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood. Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood. Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood. Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood. Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood. Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood. Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood. Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood. Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood. Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood. Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood. .
posted by quin at 2:03 PM on June 24, 2010


Sure, all language changes. Until those changes occur, there are some things that are wrong and there are some things that are right. "Login" is not a verb. "Irregardless" isn't a real word. "Could care less" is bad English.

Tossing popular ignorance around doesn't make it okay to mangle a perfectly cromulent language.
posted by grubi at 2:03 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Some ignorant people once started dropping the 'u' in colour, and look what happened to that.

No, a particular lexicographer dropped the 'u' in 'colour'.
posted by grubi at 2:04 PM on June 24, 2010


Well, it's nice to know that English has finally reached its final, perfect form.

Well, it's nice to now a language doesn't need rules in order for communication to work. So you just claptrap orangutan plebe nostril poontang whippoorwill 'til the velcro mustard hermaphrodite.
posted by grubi at 2:06 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Because they're non sequiturs.

No, they're not. If the orignal quote essentially says Break particular rules of language a whole bunch and those rules no longer exist then If a rule is broken enough times, it's no longer a rule does follow.
posted by grubi at 2:08 PM on June 24, 2010


I've never seen anyone use "login" as a verb except as a typo.
posted by DU at 2:09 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The level of certainty and anger on that website is amazing! I worry about the blood pressure of the author.
posted by artlung at 2:10 PM on June 24, 2010


I've never seen anyone use "login" as a verb except as a typo.

Maybe if you loginned to more websites you'd see it.
posted by The World Famous at 2:10 PM on June 24, 2010


No, they're not. If the orignal quote essentially says Break particular rules of language a whole bunch and those rules no longer exist then If a rule is broken enough times, it's no longer a rule does follow.

As long as you're still talking about language, then yes. But it doesn't apply everywhere else.
posted by rocket88 at 2:11 PM on June 24, 2010


No, they're not. If the orignal quote essentially says Break particular rules of language a whole bunch and those rules no longer exist then If a rule is broken enough times, it's no longer a rule does follow.

Because all that any given language is is a shared understanding of usage. As such, it currently is wrong to say, in English, 'Your my friend,' because it is generally agreed among speakers of English that this is incorrect usage of the word your. If, however, it is generally agreed upon by English speakers that there's no reason to differentiate between homophones anymore, 'Your my friend' will be correct.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:14 PM on June 24, 2010


That our language has absorbed and legitimized words formed in error is a fact, and that's what my original comment was saying. I don't know how you can argue against it when it's plainly obvious that is has happened and has happened often.
Look up the etymologies of pea and buttonhole. Are those words still considered misuses?
posted by rocket88 at 2:15 PM on June 24, 2010


So you just claptrap orangutan plebe nostril poontang whippoorwill 'til the velcro mustard hermaphrodite.


Riiiiight, because if someone uses login as a verb, then communication just breaks down, like if someone strung together random words.

"Yeah, could I get someone from IT up here? My computer is spouting nonsense at me. Sure, I'll read it: "Please logoff before you leave today." What the hell does that mean? Seriously, there must be a virus in my computer."
posted by 23skidoo at 2:18 PM on June 24, 2010 [4 favorites]


As long as you're still talking about language, then yes. But it doesn't apply everywhere else.

Why is language the one exemption? Why have rules in language at all?
posted by grubi at 2:19 PM on June 24, 2010


That our language has absorbed and legitimized words formed in error is a fact, and that's what my original comment was saying.

Actually, your original comment said that words formed in error will, as a rule, be legitimized after some critical number of errors. And that's what people are disagreeing with.

You said: If a misuse is common enough it's no longer a misuse.

And that's simply not the case. Sometime a misuse becomes an accepted use. Sometimes it does not. People have been misusing its, it's, your, and you're for far longer than the word "login" has been used as a misspelling of the verb "log in." And yet they are still misuses. Because common misuse does not, as a rule, change a misuse to a correct use.
posted by The World Famous at 2:20 PM on June 24, 2010


Is JERKOFF a verb? or is Jerk off? for those of us in the field, it is a handy expression, no matter what.
posted by Postroad at 2:22 PM on June 24, 2010


Why is language the one exemption?

It's not the one exception. There are other areas where "If enough people think a mistake is correct, then it's not a mistake anymore." Fashion: you can totally wear white after labor day now. Etiquette: you can totally congratulate women now when you hear they are getting married. Music: autotuned music. The list goes on and on.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:26 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why have rules in language at all?

We do have rules in language, and they're very useful for facilitating conversation. But when a rule violation becomes so prevalent that almost everyone understands the message anyway, then that particular rule is no longer needed. One example is the rule against ending a sentence with a preposition. I guess that rule is still on the books somewhere, but who really cares anymore?

Actually, your original comment said that words formed in error will, as a rule, be legitimized after some critical number of errors.

No, my original comment was an observation, not a proclamation. If I had meant to add "as a rule" then I would have done so.
posted by rocket88 at 2:27 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Music: autotuned music.

You lost me there. Was there a rule previously that is no longer a rule?
posted by The World Famous at 2:27 PM on June 24, 2010


Does English have rules? Where might I find the authoritative Rules of Engilsh?
posted by Pyry at 2:28 PM on June 24, 2010


Where might I find the authoritative Rules of Engilsh?

If I tell you, do you promise not to say "that's just, like, your opinion, man?"
posted by The World Famous at 2:30 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Not a rule, just a convention. Used to be that people would use autotune subtly to try and sound like normal people who just had good pitch. Now, people are also using it obviously to try and sound like people who use autotune and don't care about pitch.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:32 PM on June 24, 2010


Are you going to name a source that isn't an actual authority at all?
posted by Pyry at 2:32 PM on June 24, 2010


PRESCRIPTIVIST HULK FILLED WITH SELF-LOATHING.

Sorry. I'll stop now.
posted by .kobayashi. at 2:34 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Log in" is silly anyway. Everything is logged whether it's to do with providing personal credentials to access an account or browsing to a picture of a cat. It's all 'logged'.

To access your account you need to provide a digital signature. You "sign in".
posted by vectr at 2:43 PM on June 24, 2010


It seems to me that even 'log in' is a little bit arbitrary at this point. When did the word 'log' become synonymous with "Enter username and password on a website or service"?

I would expect the derivation is more likely to come from security terminology: When you pass a security checkpoint at the building entrance, your name is entered in the log book.

I've never seen anyone use "login" as a verb except as a typo.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=%22please+login%22: About 119,000,000 results
posted by robertc at 2:53 PM on June 24, 2010


This is why whenever I get on MeFi I say I'm logjammin'!
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:01 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd hate to contradict grubi but perhaps we can call this a case of adverse possession of language. By substituting word for the term property we see that at least four of the five requirements for declaring adverse possession have been met:

Adverse possession requires, as a minimum, the following five conditions being met to perfect the title of the disseisor (some jurisdictions further require the possession to be made under a claim of title or a claim of right and/or other requirements listed below):

* Actual possession of the property word
* Open and notorious use of the property word
* Exclusive use of the property word
* Hostile or adverse use of the property word
* Continuous use of the property word


I'm stumped as to who might "possess" a word, real or not, but I'm certain that someone out there will have an opinion.
posted by rosebengal at 3:01 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, let me get this straight.

If a sea captain is going to record in his log book how far the ship sailed that day you should say he is going to log in?

And the distance the ship sailed is the captain’s login?

This is confusing.
posted by Widepath at 3:09 PM on June 24, 2010


The book is login. It is a login book.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:29 PM on June 24, 2010


Next you're going to tell me that google isn't a verb, either.

You can tell that the proponents of that particular argument are just so fucking pissed that they don't understand the internet.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 3:31 PM on June 24, 2010


Well, it's nice to now a language doesn't need rules in order for communication to work.

Actually, that's part of what makes natural language such a fascinating subject: it doesn't need rules in the sense that most prescriptivist-type folks think of rules in order for communication to work. Language is a wonderfully complex and organic artifact of the social interaction between a whole bunch of humans walking around with as-yet-very-poorly-understood neurolinguistic hardware in their heads. It is an emergent phenomenon, one that arises naturally from our mysterious inbuilt capacity for it and our interactions as groups over time.

Rules chase language. They are not useless or meaningless, and the careful study of usage has applications at both a descriptive level (e.g. linguistics) and at a prescriptive level (e.g. editing and style). But the rules are a fabrication, a higher-level artifact of our cognition, a model that attempts (in the best possible cases, at least) to capture as accurately and completely (if still inevitably inaccurately and incompletely) the way in which natural language is used and the ways in which it changes over time.
posted by cortex at 3:38 PM on June 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


How now, my lord, why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making,
Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without all remedy
Should be without regard: what's done, is done.

posted by ArkhanJG at 3:49 PM on June 24, 2010


Suffife it to fay, Engleish is an unchanging entity, proof againft ye vagarief of tyme &c.

Suſſiſe it to ſay, Engleiſh is an unchanging entity, proof againſt þe vagaries of tyme.
Suffice it to say, Engleish is an unchanging entity, proof against the vagaries of tyme.
Suffice it to say, English is an unchanging entity, proof against the vagaries of time.

Aside from two letterforms we no longer use, there's really not much difference.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 4:00 PM on June 24, 2010


Verbing weirds the language.
posted by qvantamon at 4:02 PM on June 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I forgot to mention that the long s was not used at the end of a word. I also carelessly left off the "&c.", which we usually render as "etc." now, and is an abbreviation for the Latin phrase et cetera.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 4:04 PM on June 24, 2010


Has anyone registered setupisnotaverb.com? Because I hate that more than login.
posted by rubah at 4:11 PM on June 24, 2010


Does someone use setup as a verb, rather than "set up?"
posted by The World Famous at 4:12 PM on June 24, 2010


It is the nature of English to verb words that are not verbs.
posted by bwg at 5:15 PM on June 24, 2010


One hour in a room with a real linguist and this guy would be praying for the ability to logout.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:26 PM on June 24, 2010


I use sex as a verb to indicate intercourse and not gender checking. I use the other forms too- sexed, sexes, sexing.
posted by haveanicesummer at 5:36 PM on June 24, 2010


Next you're going to tell me that google isn't a verb, either.

Look, there's a real difference, in descriptive linguistic terms, about google as a verb versus login as a verb. Google is inflected as a verbal stem--I googled, we're googling, he googles--while login is not. I doubt anyone reading this thread would say that they loginned to Metafilter this morning. The fact that one word is inflected while the other is not is all that is meant by the declaration that login is not a verb, which, again, is a descriptive rather than prescriptive statement.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:42 PM on June 24, 2010


Does someone use setup as a verb, rather than "set up?"

Unfortunately! And apparently, the past participle is the same as the present.

"Your account has been setup."
posted by rubah at 5:48 PM on June 24, 2010


Actually, that's part of what makes natural language such a fascinating subject: it doesn't need rules in the sense that most prescriptivist-type folks think of rules in order for communication to work.

That's exactly right. A music teacher once told me that music theory is a way to describe music, not the rules of music. Music exists without theory, but not the other way around. Language exists without grammar rules (it did, long before grammar was used to describe it), but grammar doesn't exist without language, which originates organically.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:53 PM on June 24, 2010


Avoiding confusion is not the only purpose of language.

Promoting confusion is equally important.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:04 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Your account has been setup."

Meh. It's just a misspelling, like login. Find me the gerund (settuping or loginning) or the past tense (setupped or loginned) and then I'll start believing that someone uses either as a verb.
posted by The World Famous at 6:04 PM on June 24, 2010


Remember when people on the internet thought 'All your base are belong to us' was funny? That meme is like '80's '80s 80s fashion now. fashion in the decade after 1980.
posted by doublehappy at 6:21 PM on June 24, 2010


when people start using the word "logined" he's going to be totally chagrinning.
posted by Hammond Rye at 6:31 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


a friend broke me of the habit of saying "i'm doing good"

but not before i let him know that i WASN'T "doing well" i was "doing that which is good."
posted by Hammond Rye at 6:40 PM on June 24, 2010


Next you're going to tell me that LOLcat isn't a real word either, aren't you?
posted by tamitang at 7:43 PM on June 24, 2010


The whole idea of "users" is going to be obsolete soon enough that worrying about this is just silly.
posted by wobh at 7:54 PM on June 24, 2010


It's a phrasal verb. It conjugates just fine. The only issue is whether you are going to write it with a space or not "log in" or "login", but that is a spelling issue and has nothing to do with grammar.

The guy is simply wrong on this.
posted by Maztec at 10:22 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


The whole idea of "users" is going to be obsolete soon enough that worrying about this is just silly.

That's just propaganda from the MCP.
posted by The World Famous at 11:14 PM on June 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


"giftisnotaverb.com" hasn't been made yet. Get on that, folks.

Also:

Verbing is awesome.

Awesoming is better.
posted by The World Famous at 6:43 AM on June 25 [1 favorite +] [!]


Awesoming betters.
posted by DoctorFedora at 2:20 AM on June 25, 2010


Oh no! A phrasal verb is evolving into a compound verb! COVER THE CHIRREN'S EYES!

It does not follow the wholesome English tradition of offload, uplift, underline, or outrun! The preposition comes second! SECOND!!!! How will it be conjugated? HOW WILL WE SURVIVE?

Somehow, I think we will manage.
posted by kyrademon at 5:19 AM on June 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Obligatory Christ, what an asshole.

I used to be into Obligatory Christ, back before they were popular.
posted by rokusan at 6:15 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, kyrademon, to inlog sounds kind of cool.
posted by rokusan at 6:16 AM on June 25, 2010


Wow, this is really... uh... right. It seems like the whole confusion is more a typo than anything else, hardly worth the effort shown here.

Now, Time Warner Cable's marketing of "High Speed Online!" is just infuriating...
posted by odinsdream at 7:34 AM on June 25, 2010


Awesoming betters anything! QED.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:27 AM on June 25, 2010


Hey - outcheck this. I've just outfound you can upmatch verbs and prepositions and upmake all kinds of backwards phrasal verbs. I'm afraid this could outturn badly.
posted by Steakfrites at 1:20 PM on June 25, 2010


So, is meetup a verb? Because I was thinking of meetupping sometime soon.
posted by The World Famous at 2:00 PM on June 25, 2010


It does not follow the wholesome English tradition of offload, uplift, underline, or outrun! The preposition comes second! SECOND!!!! How will it be conjugated? HOW WILL WE SURVIVE?

I submit download and upload to that list.
posted by artlung at 2:07 PM on June 25, 2010


Find me the gerund (settuping or loginning)
Here you are.

And then, there's this

I lost few days for setuping helm but stil dont work good

43K results for setupping -"setup ping"
33K for setuping

Minuscule results as far as google's concerned, but obviously I've run into it enough for it to bug me :)
posted by rubah at 6:36 PM on June 25, 2010


Here you are.

The pain. The pain.
posted by The World Famous at 6:43 PM on June 25, 2010


It is now.
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 11:32 PM on June 26, 2010


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