A few years ago when my kids started playing various Mario Bros. games, they started using a “new” word: versing. As in, “the Giants are versing the Dodgers”. They even turned it into past tense. “We versed the girls in soccer in PE today.”
This is heebie jeebies, nails on a chalkboard kind of stuff for me. And I didn’t get where it was coming from until I started watching them “verse” each other on the Wii. For example, in the Shrek SuperSlam game, the announcer says, “Shrek versus Donkey!” Instead of thinking of versus as a preposition, the kids were hearing it as a verb.
It makes perfect sense to me if you think of it purely from a context standpoint. Kids are pretty smart after all. Especially mine. 😉
I still correct them whenever they use it, but give it another decade and “versing” may enter the Oxford English Dictionary as a new word. According to a recent Grammar Girl facebook survey, kids in English-speaking countries all over the world are using “versing”.
It also has an entry in the Urban Dictionary, use #2, and I found references to it on blogs back to at least 2005.
And here I thought it was just my kids and their friends. Hah! Nintendo has unintentionally created a new word for a whole generation.
I can’t decide if that’s cool or sad.
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