Saturday, October 4, 2008

'Progress' as a verb

During Thursday's debate with Joe Biden, Sarah Palin spoke this 68-word run-on sentence:
"There have been times where, as mayor and governor, we have passed budgets that I did not veto and that I think could be considered as something that I quasi-caved in, if you will, but knowing that it was the right thing to do in order to progress the agenda for that year and to work with the legislative body, that body that actually holds the purse strings."
The governor's habit of using "progress" as an active verb annoys Alaska humorist Leinad Moolb. To me, it's no worse than the awful construction "grow the economy" that became commonplace in the '90s.


  1. Maybe because I studied control systems engineering as an undergrad, I don't know, but there seems to be a mental challenge for some.
    The idea that timeframe is a parameter in managing stuff seems magical.
    Some decisions make tactical sense, say kamikaze warfare, but are strategic disasters.
    The Tet Offensive was a tactical disaster, yet had the virtue of playing to the fifth column, and winning strategically.
    Dare I say the Governor may have shred #1 of leadership ability? She has nails, if not polish, or am I putting eyeshadow on a chicken?

  2. Yes, GROW THE ECONOMY is also a phrase worth....throwing in the dustbin of history.....a terrible phrase....who concocted that one?

    Why can't people just speak English? A noun is a noun is a noun. Never meant to be a verb. Same thing applies to verbs, they were never meant to be nouns. Who's killing our language, anyways?

    Joe Six Pack? Sarah Chug It?

    -- cheers from cyberspace

    Leinad Moolb, wink wink

  3. Hi Robert

    Maureen Dwod today at NYTImes picked up on the PROGRESS AS A VERB blogpost you did


    She dangles gerunds, mangles prepositions, randomly exiles nouns and verbs and also — “also” is her favorite vamping word — uses verbs better left as nouns, as in, “If Americans so bless us and privilege us with the opportunity of serving them,” or how she tried to “progress the agenda.”