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November 27, 2006


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I got two briefs this week from ad agencies that use "surface" as a transitive verb, as in, a new software that "surfaces" documents from your hard drive that are relevant to a project you're working on. They want it to mean "select and highlight", or, "drive to the surface".

They've taken a perfectly fine verb which a swimmer or submarine might perform, and transitived it it. How's THAT for verbing?!

My wife points out that "re-surface" is a perfectly fine transitive verb, but I don't think you can "surface" something the first time, can you?

Hmm. I guess I'm maintaining that one can always re-surface a table, but one can never actually surface it in the first place.

Anybody want to back me up on that one?

Namer X

That use of "surface" is new to me, but I used to have a client who would ask me "to language the copy."

Dotsam is too cutesy for me. I understand it, but don't think that as a name it can stand on its own.

As for surfacing... I'd suggest that in the craft industry it might be applicable. Considering that they can both finish and re-finish a piece, it seems the model might fit.

If you can resurface a table then what would you call the original establishing of that surface being replaced? (My woodworking relative tells me that it is called sanding or finishing...)

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