Archive for the ‘Vocabularify’ Category

Unusual Verbs 3: Deep Six

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I quite like the verb “deep-six.” I like a lot of those numerical expressions:

But “deep-six” is different. It has an attached adjective. That’s unique. It’s also visual. Burying something six feet under is intense. Think Pandora’s box; Hamlet with Yorick’s skull. Think Kill Bill Vol. II. Being deep-sixed is almost untenable. There’s almost no coming back from it. That’s why it works so well as a verb. It’s pretty much irreversible. It’s an absolute — a speech act that is almost impossible to undo. Even if it was, who would have the balls to resurrect that which has been deep-sixed. Bringing back something so decisively cast away must be a dirty business. If you deep-six something, you mean for it to be gone forever. Out of sight, out of mind.

I’m sure you have a list of things that should be deep-sixed. Things that just need to be GONE — returned to the dust from whence they came. That should be a fun list to write as long as nothing is off-limits.


Nix (V)

Unusual Verbs 2

Nix is what I refer to as a little word with a big personality. It’s compact, pithy, and almost impossible to misunderstand.

Nix means to deny approval or permission, to cancel, or veto. The definition has not changed much since 1903 ( It is, in fact, the opposite of greenlight. It’s a great word to use when you want to make your point fast. And that point is NO! It even lends itself to Pig Latin: ixnay.

  • Nixing
  • Nixed
  • Nixes
  • “Nixable” ( I made this up — because I can.)


Greenlight (V)

Welcome to The Festering Blurb. This blog is eleven years old; I started writing about my book collection in 2007. Then there was a ridonkulously long hiatus between 2012 and now. So the Blurb is back with new books and new categories. This post is the beginning of a series called “Unusual Verbs”. I’ve decided to branch out from just writing about books to writing about language. This post is under a new category “Vocabularify.”


Unusual Verbs 1

  • Greenlight. To approve a project; to give permission for a project to begin.

History: A green traffic light means to proceed. The motion picture business in California started using the expression “greenlight” as a verb. In the movie business, to greenlight means to give permission to start a new project, usually start making a movie.

  • Greenlighting (present participle)
  • Greenlit (past)
  • Greenlights (present)
  • Will have greenlit (Seriously…who would ever use this tense?)

Learning Connections: Compound word. Irregular verb. Continue reading

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