Who's to say login can't become a verb? "Google" and "email" did. Busily propping up websites like this with guides and corrections is like a finger in the dike.
Blindly accepting all changes goes too far in the other direction. People can write however they like, but people with an interest in communicating clearly in written English usually adopt a middle way by developing their own style based on a mixture of conventions they've been exposed to. For example, I typically write in semi-formal US English influenced heavily by the Chicago Manual of Style.
There's a beauty in having standards in order to make certain categories of text (such as work e-mails, quotes, or newspaper articles) easier to read and understand, but there's also a beauty in having multiple standards that are flexible and can slowly adapt to changing tastes over time. No-one is fixed in how they have to do things.
I don't believe we should encourage people with an interest in communicating clearly in written English to simply "do what they're going to do" but to appreciate the gamut of professional written English and to try and stretch the boundaries of it little by little, without falling into heavy use of slang or neologisms. Written English is a different beast to everyday, casual speech.
The English language moves, for sure. I believe, however, the vaguely defined standards of formal English shouldn't be ignored, changed too rapidly, or pushed in too many directions at once. It takes people time to keep up and, at the end of the day, clear communication is what it's all about.
On top of that, the fact of the matter is that we use different "languages" in different domains. When writing something for a public or semi-public audience, I do think there should be a formal specification for English so that you can KNOW deterministically if your composition is correct. For verbal conversation it's unreasonable to expect people to conform to a formal grammar. For instant messaging it's apparently unreasonable (or at least hopeless) to expect any resemblance to "formal" English.
The only solid line I drew was that flat-out anarchy is a step too far. You talk about governing bodies and "language governments," even though I endorsed the current "middle way" paradigm of house styles (like the Chicago Manual of Style, the Associated Press house style, the Times of London style) as offering the best of both worlds. There is no dichotomy of a total free for all versus having a "language government."
When writing something for a public or semi-public audience, I do think there should be a formal specification for English so that you can KNOW deterministically if your composition is correct.
See, I disagree with that. Being with the gamut of what is considered professional, written English is good enough. US English and British English have differing formal standards (and even those aren't fixed by any one group), yet are easily read by both types of reader. Having multiple standards within an overall gamut of professional English is the current system and people adhere to whatever house style they wish (or, more commonly, mix together different notions of what they consider to be good).
Working within a gamut offers both structure and flexibility without resorting to "language governments" or language anarchy.
Suppose I say "Joe Bloggs shouldn't be President". You could reply "Who are you to say that? We have a democratic system, and if the people choose to elect Joe Bloggs as President then Joe Bloggs should be President". And of course you'd be right in that I don't have the right to stand outside the system and declare that Joe Bloggs shouldn't be President. But if we zoom in on the democratic system then you'll see all sorts of people standing around arguing about whether Joe Bloggs should or should not be President, which is probably the level on which I meant to make my pronouncement in the first place.
Similarly, if I say "login" isn't a verb, it's not because I'm setting myself up as the independent arbiter of what is and isn't a word, I'm merely expressing a ground-level preference within-the-system preference that it should not be considered a verb (due, in this case, to inconsistency and the impossibility of sensibly putting it into past tense), and words come and go due to just such sorts of ground-level arguments.
So, with that out of the way, I agree that "login" shouldn't be a verb. Also, "panini" is plural and the singular is "panino".
When I say "language government," I don't necessarily mean there would be any relation with an actual government. In fact, any free and amendable formal grammar/style guide would qualify as "language government."
I think we have reached an intellectual compromise we can both agree on :-) I think an open style guide backed by a respected foundation and esteemed board (a la the Creative Commons organization) would be an excellent idea.
You are right about the slightly closed nature of style guides. I'm a big fan of the Chicago Manual of Style but it's not free, and nor is the fine AP Stylebook (they even charge $20 or something for their iPhone app..)
I argue is already has
"Google" and "email" don't contain prepositions.
I log in. You log in. We all logged in.
I login. You login. We all logined. What? We all loggedined? We all loggedin?
If we just acknowledge that "login" is a noun referring to your credentials, where as "log in" (or "log on") means to supply one's login/credentials, then it's all hunky-dory.
Plenty of linguists would admit 'login' as a verb. There is very little difficulty in accepting that 'to log in' and 'to login' mean the same thing.
In this case "in" does not function as a preposition, it is part of the verb. The evidence for this is immediately apparent when we consider that "to log" and "to log in" really are two different activities. We do not mean that we record anything when we login to a machine, what we are doing is obtaining access to it by means of an exchange of previously established authenticating information - and while this step may involve making a record of our login, it need not for the basic sense of that action to remain intact.
Also, we have no trouble with a multi-word verbs in English, if you don't believe me, try googling 'phrasal verbs'. This article is either a gag, or really is just an example prescriptavist nonsense which attempts in futility to combat the last 50 years of linguistic consensus.
If only. According to the James Study of Casual TV Activity, "log on" means "visit this Web site". Any use of user name or password is coincidental.
E.g "Log on to CNN.com for all the latest headlines."
It's a lost cause. I'm saving my energy to preserve the distinction among "few", "fewer", "less", and "lesser".
That's just incorrect usage of terminology by (most likely) marketing/PR people.
In the olden days, you had to log on to your ISP over a modem. "Logging on" happened all the time to access anything outside your computer.
I suspect that the occasional use of "log on" in reference to simply visiting websites will disappear in favor of simply "visit". "Log on" will continue to be used and abused with connection to sites that actually want you to log on (after all, what better way to turn your website into a money maker than by gathering user data).
> It's a lost cause. I'm saving my energy to preserve the distinction among "few", "fewer", "less", and "lesser".
This is reminding me of the article about the recent English grads who traveled the country correcting grammar and spelling errors in signs on the way.
Sure, languages change over time and so on, but there's already a verb "loose", meaning "release", more or less.
When I become a billionaire and there are trespassers on my estate, I want to be able to cry "Loose the hounds!" without my overly-subservient toady thinking he should misplace them.
whenceeer (probable corruption of whenceever, and hence not legit)
Or, more accurately, it's a representation of a number using characters which happen to be letters of the alphabet.
"First they came for the verbs, and I said nothing
because verbing weirds language. Then they arrival
for the nouns, and I speech nothing because I no
-- Peter Ellis.
Calvin: I like to verb words.
Calvin: I take nouns and adjectives and use them
as verbs. Remember when "access" was a thing?
Now, it's something you do. It got verbed.
Verbing weirds language.
Hobbes: Maybe we can eventually make language a
complete impediment to understanding.
Even more remarkable is that native speakers use these constructions all of the time, yet the idea of a phrasal verb is apparently not taught in school.
It's just one of the ways languages mutate. Usually the noun form mutates first, and later on the verb form, but not always.
Here's a visual aid: http://www.flickr.com/photos/riggzy/3177839298/
Also see meanings 6 and 13 at http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/log.
...we can't let one little conjugation problem make thousands of programmers and technical writers look like fools
"login is not a verb" + "many websites use it as a navigation element" != "programmers look like fools"
I could use a simple door with an arrow image for logging in as well. That image is not a word at all. Yet it would still serve as an effective navigation element.
Also, who says that all websites intend for it to be a verb anyway? I have another navigation called "account". I do not want users to account the site. I simply want them to know that is the account page. Likewise, "login" signifies that is the link to the login page, for which this article granted that it may be used as a noun.
Ok, I've spent entirely too much time on this subject.
Wait, what? American language? Deprecated predecessor? Somebody really seems to hate the English people. The name of the language is still English. American English. Just as the language they speak in Australia is Australian English.
See here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_language#Countries_in_o...
It takes away from his otherwise, carefully constructed argument.
It simply is.
About 33,300 results
About 224,000,000 results
Example: Please login to comment.
Example: Please exit to your right.
Yeah, that's what I thought.