Splitting Infinitives

“To be is to do”—Socrates.
“To do is to be”—Jean-Paul Sartre.
“Do be do be do”—Frank Sinatra.

Anonymous

I was texting with Carla last night and we were discussing plans for this weekend when we all descend on her home town to see her father and work on getting things squared away.1 We were talking about getting her brother over to a nearby restaurant that was closed when we tried to go there the weekend after Christmas. In the process of composing the text I left out the verb when I meant to say we should take her brother over to that place. What I actually did was use his name as a verb. “We should [her brother] to the restaurant” instead of take her brother to the restaurant.

To beBefore I started trying to have a post every day I would have probably not made much of the incident. It wasn’t something that would make a blip on websites like Damn You Autocorrect and the like. Now I’m looking for something to write every day. Nothing is too trivial.

What if your name were used as a verb? What would it mean? There’s likely something you’d hope it would mean, but would people you know give it the same meaning? Would people to whom you’re close ascribe one meaning to your-name-as-a-verb while people who barely know you ascribe another?

What would you want your verb to mean?

This pops up on sitcoms every once in a while. On Community to “Britta” something was to make a situation worse by trying to help. In our home, to “Porter” something would be to beg for food, while to “Dunkel” something would be to make a game of something, no matter how inappropriate or inconvenient. It could also mean flopping down right in front of where you’re walking at the worst possible time. It would be a versatile verb. The type that confuses non-English speakers no end (because English is pretty damned arbitrary as a language).

What would your name mean as a verb?

Is it what you’d like it to be?

Do you have the courage to ask it? Do you have the courage to answer?

Happy hump day.


1He’s doing well, by the way. Much happiness with that.

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