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 Post subject: Host
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2004 12:01 am
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Location: "It's really not like the rest of Texas."
I've been trying to convince my college newspaper staff that host is not a verb, despite what the dictionary says. Is this correct?


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 6:20 pm 
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Location: Bethesda, Md.
Host has crossed over into verbdom, but Bill Walsh includes it in the "correct, but use at your own risk" category. <p>One reason "host" is a verb is that there isn't another single word that means the same thing. That alone doesn't make it "right," though. I don't like it except in society columns and the like.


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 6:25 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 1:01 am
Posts: 48
Location: South Carolina
So what is the better option? I hate using the verb hold in place of host.


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 12:01 am
Posts: 3137
Location: Homebush NSW Australia
I'm confused about this. Host as a verb has a rich provenance in the English literature that I recall.


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 6:35 pm 
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Location: Bethesda, Md.
<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Paul Wiggins:
I'm confused about this. Host as a verb has a rich provenance in the English literature that I recall.<hr></blockquote><p>It's just one of those things.


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 6:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2003 12:01 am
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Location: An undisclosed alpine meadow
In most situations, there's nothing wrong with using host as a verb. It makes a lot more sense than play host, which sounds like a Larry Flynt party game.<p>Usage note from American Heritage:
Host was used as a verb in Shakespeare's time, but this usage was long obsolete when the verb was reintroduced (or perhaps reinvented) in recent years to mean “perform the role of a host.” The usage occurs particularly in contexts relating to institutional gatherings or television and radio shows, where the person performing the role of host has not personally invited the guests. Perhaps because the verb involves a suspect extension of the traditional conception of hospitality, it initially met with critical resistance. In a 1968 survey only 18 percent of the Usage Panel accepted the usage in the sentence The Cleveland chapter will host this year's convention. Over time, however, the usage has become increasingly well established and has the useful purpose of describing the activities of one who performs the ceremonial or practical role of a host, as in arranging a conference or welcoming guests. In our 1986 survey, 53 percent of the Panelists accepted the usage in the phrase a reception hosted by the Secretary of State. The verb is less well accepted when it is used to describe the role of a performer who acts as a master of ceremonies for a broadcast or film, where the relation of the word to the notion of “hospitality” is stretched still further.
---<p>[ April 07, 2004: Message edited by: SeaRaven ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2003 1:01 am
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Location: The Herald in Everett, WA
I don't like host as a verb either. It reminds me of the "society stories" of the South. Excuse me while I shudder.<p>I see nothing wrong with "The county library will have a party..." as opposed to "The county library will host a party..."


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 11:58 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2003 1:01 am
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Location: The Herald in Everett, WA
And for the love of God, Blythe, don't let those students write pretend stories for April Fools' Day.


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 1:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2003 12:01 am
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Location: Homebush NSW Australia
I have a niggling feeling that the word may have come back into vogue with the advent of Tupperware parties.


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 10:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 1:01 am
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Until recently, AP style banned the use of "host" as a verb. That rule no longer exists.


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:25 am 
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Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 87
Location: Calgary, Canada
It is true that "host" as a verb can always be rewritten. Whichever usage you deem acceptable, just be thankful that Interland has reliably provided asyncronous transfers of bandwith to our HTTP clients, for this discussion.


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2003 1:01 am
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Location: N 36° 57' 9", W 121° 24' 2"
I was taught as a young sportswriter to write "will play host to," but it seems contrary to the "tighten, tighten, tighten" rule. And no one would misunderstand "The Padres host San Francisco today." But that never sounded right, either -- as if Bruce Bochy will put on a cocktail frock and greet some 650,000 people at the door of the Padres' new stadium with a bread bowl of spinach salad.<p>So... "The Giants visit San Diego"? Uh, no. "The Padres entertain San Francisco"? Ick. "The Giants are at San Diego"? OK, but they're not "at" San Diego, they're "in" it.<p>:::wapping forehead with bat:::


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:46 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2002 12:01 am
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Location: Saranac Lake, N.Y.
Burchfield confirms that "host" has been around as a verb since the 15th century, but he also says it's reviled by many standard speakers. "If you are determined to use it (instead of 'act as host'), go ahead, but do not be surprised if the use is greeted with a certain froideur."<p>Translation, please. I want to know the next time someone looks at me like a Frenchman.<p>[ April 08, 2004: Message edited by: ADKbrown ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 11:49 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 1:01 am
Posts: 114
Location: Detroit Michigan
When I first saw the topic, Host, I thought it was going to be a message from the host of TCE. I like the discussion better.
The use of host as a verb reminds me of using debut as a verb: As in the car debuted at the Detroit auto show... I prefer made its debut at... Long ago I knew someone who disliked debuted, early in my work, and that has stuck with me.


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 7:18 am 
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Location: Albuquerque, N.M. USA
<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by car copy:
The use of host as a verb reminds me of using debut as a verb: As in the car debuted at the Detroit auto show... I prefer made its debut at... Long ago I knew someone who disliked debuted, early in my work, and that has stuck with me.<hr></blockquote><p>Car Copy distills this problem into a single sentence. Some of the rules we hold dear can be traced to the decades-old pet peeves of cranky alcoholics and obsessive-compulsive eccentrics. Of course, there's nothing wrong with using "host" and "debuted" as verbs. To dance around them at this point is a quaint little exercise and usually is a waste of words. (The dictionary we hold as gospel tells us "debut" is a valid verb, both transitive and intransitive.)<p>The point I've offered in other posts and on the home page is that we've usually got much bigger problems to deal with, and if we can just let go of a few style conceits that our old professor or first city editor clung to because he or she learned it in the 40s from a 10th-grade Latin professor who sputtered on and on about it before leaping from a classroom window, we can move on to more important things.<p>It's a matter of simplifying our work without compromising on accuracy and style.<p>Not to speak for him or mischaracterize his work, but this is where Mr. Walsh deserves our thanks for being at the forefront of this dialogue.<p>[ April 10, 2004: Message edited by: jjmoney62 ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 10:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2003 1:01 am
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Location: california
well put, j, and right on the money.


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 8342
Location: Bethesda, Md.
It's difficult to disagree. But let's not forget that dictionaries record usage; they are not guides to good writing. Certain words carry imagery that might not be quite right in a given usage. Other words--the verb "host" among them--are useful in many circumstances but lose their power when stretched. We must depend on our command of the language, beyond dictionary definitions, to choose the right word.


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2002 1:01 am
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Location: Cusp of retirement, grave or both
If I am not mistaken, the latest AP book dropped the old ban on "host" as a verb. Or maybe it was the prior edition.<p>I am still fighting it, though I sometimes give in out of exasperation and out of the jjmoney-like realization that there are larger flounders to fry up on any given night in the slot.


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 12:13 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 1:01 am
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Location: New Jersey
It was dropped from the AP Stylebook in 2002, I believe. I sent out a jubilant e-mail to the desk, in fact, because I think "host" makes a perfectly fine verb and I was tired of wasting time writing around it when not one reader cares.


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 Post subject: Re: Host
PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2004 7:09 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2002 1:01 am
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Location: Cusp of retirement, grave or both
I do see your point. I always paid the price of being a strict constructionist.<p>It is, indeed, a perfectly good verb.


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