My latest column for the Visual Thesaurus, “Shall We Plus?”, looks at the evolution of “plus” from preposition, adjective, and noun into a verb. Full access to the column is restricted to subscribers; here’s a sample:
Enterprise Rent-A-Car is also positive about plussing — although “Plus Your Life,” the slogan for the “enhanced Enterprise Plus loyalty program,” is ambiguous.
The phrase makes marketing sense only if we understand “plus” to be a verb meaning “improve.” At first glance, though, it's easy to think it means “And your life.” That was Washington Post copy editor and usage-guide author Bill Walsh's mocking interpretation: he tweeted a photo of one of the “Plus Your Life” ads and commented, “If you're willing to die for Enterprise Rent-A-Car.”
Read the rest of the article, which includes more examples of verbified “plus” from marketing and – a surprise to me – government.