Sorry for a few slow days in the world of blogging. I’ve been reading a bit but mostly have just been slacking. I do, however, need to report on a startling usage in the New York Times. To the NYT’s credit, a journalist did not use the word “coupon” as a verb, but to the NYT’s discredit, the journalist did include a quote with a split infinitive, “coupon” as a verb, and “couponing” as a gerund. See for yourself, and be appalled:
“The households that tend to not coupon as much are all couponing significantly more this year versus last year,” said Neil Heffernan, senior vice president and general manager for the research company Knowledge Networks/PDI. The group’s most recent figures show that in January and February combined, coupon use among young, single consumers with minimal savings rose 14 percent, in contrast to the same months last year.
Maybe hip researchers like to “verb” words, as the inimitable Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes liked to do. But “coupon”? It seems like such a weird word when you say it even a few times (whereas most words hold up until you repeat them many times; then they all seem weird).
I’m not much of a coupon-user myself; I just haven’t gotten thrifty enough to use them, although I’ve been known to snag a good Papa John’s pizza deal (and avoid mentioning the expiration date) from time to time.
Are coupons back in, or are they totally passe? And can “coupon” justifiably be used as a verb or gerund?