jun 24

Login Is Not A Verb

Login Is Not A Verb.... dot-com. Oh shutup.


Whoa, when I saw this before I hadn't realized it was like its own separate domain. Someone cares, and I appreciate that.

The longest essay in David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster (126 pages, if I recall correctly) was a "review" of a usage dictionary of the English language that spent a numbing amount of time discussing descriptive vs. prescriptive grammar. So this guy is clearly right from a prescriptive perspective -- "login" not only isn't a word, but it doesn't add anything useful to the language. From a descriptive perspective, we might note that in the second person present tense, it doesn't present any particular problems.

I could get into a whole discussion about what would happen if we "allow" the usage for the present tense, in keeping with the descriptive perspective. It'd make our "grammar rules" that much more complicated. But who, honestly, learns to write correctly by memorizing rules? Nobody, right? You just pick it up.

On the other hand, what we're arguing about here is the space between "log" and "in," in a certain limited number of cases. I dunno, I feel like what this guy owes me, more so than a proof of why "login" is a noun and not a verb, is some evidence that the word is in common use as a verb outside a very limited and technical body of writing.

posted by alesh at 10:17 PM on June 24, 2010

being from minnesota, i'm pretty certain you remember the old joke about "how far's the old login?"

posted by steve at 11:56 AM on June 25, 2010

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