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The jury will verdict him:

“David has to accept full responsibility and the consequences of his actions as any other adult — and he is doing that. I make no excuses for him and would expect him to accept whatever penalties are given. It is the court’s responsibility to properly consequence him for a foolish act but his family’s responsibility to love him and temper our disappointment with our support.”

I hadn’t seen consequence used as a verb before, and I’d just as soon not see it again. But making verbs out of nouns is a popular pastime these days. We used to receive a gift, if we’d been good. Then gift began to appear as a verb: “I will gift her with this set of screwdrivers.” It’s still not standard, but it’s widely used.

Also becoming widely used is office as a verb: “I office in the Jarndyce building.”

Garner’s Dictionary of Modern American Usage says the use of office as a verb “has become a commonplace expression among American businesspeople, but not among fastidious users of language.” And we know which side we’re on, don’t we? Leave the verb office to the guys at Enron and Halliburton.

“The last elected Democrat in Benton County is switching political parties, leading the Democratic faithful to wonder when they’ll ever regain a foothold in the state’s fastest-growing county. … The defection is ‘really a low blow’ to the Democratic Party, said the Democratic county chairman, Peg Omihart. ‘It’s really demoralizing,’ she said. ‘But it’s his decision. We can’t blame him.’ ”

Can’t blame somebody who gives us a low blow? Does that mean we have to forgive Dick Cheney? Of course not. Ms. Omihart apparently believes that any painful blow is a low blow. But a low blow is not only painful, it’s dirty, it’s a violation of the rules, it’s everything real Americans are taught not to do. (Cheney was born in Transylvania.) Low blow comes from the boxing ring, where it means an illegal blow, one struck below an opponent’s waist, where he’s most vulnerable. If Ms. Omihart were male, she’d have a better understanding of the term.

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