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Grammar Question

A TV commercial says "we're servicing five hundred clients each week."

Servicing is done on mechanical equipment - cars, air conditioners.

Shouldn't they have said we "serve" five hundred clients?

by Anonymousreply 2512/07/2012

It's not about grammar, it's about marketing. People like to be serviced.

by Anonymousreply 112/06/2012

Was it an ad for a brothel? If so, the use might be appropriate.

by Anonymousreply 212/06/2012

It's called back-formation, OP. It is a common way for technically incorrect words to evolve from fringe misuse into common parts of the lexicon.

It happens when people incorrectly confuse word endings (such as those that turn a verb into a noun (serve to service) or a verb into a participle (serve to serving)). Not understanding what the base word should often be, people create new base words that gradually come into common use.

It's why you see words like conversate, commentate, notate, orientate, etc.

by Anonymousreply 312/06/2012

[quote]It is a common way for technically incorrect words to evolve from fringe misuse into common parts of the lexicon.

See "gifting".

by Anonymousreply 412/06/2012

OP, I agree. Lawn mowers and heifers are serviced.

by Anonymousreply 512/06/2012

when I called a department at a big Boston hospital yesterday, I got a recorded message saying that the assistant was servicing other callers and would be with me shortly.

by Anonymousreply 612/06/2012

sounds like what has happened with people who think brown shoes are ever appropriate with a navy suit.

by Anonymousreply 712/06/2012

There's some kind of scammy-sounding outfit that advertises on the radio that will set up your small business with a "completely furnished" office in the location of your choice: Chicago, L.A. etc.

"Wherever you decide to office."

Shoot. Me.

by Anonymousreply 812/06/2012

[quote]people who think brown shoes are ever appropriate with a navy suit.

Isn't that a cowboy thing?

by Anonymousreply 912/06/2012

I can't stand the use of "addicting" as an adjective.

by Anonymousreply 1012/06/2012

[quote] It happens when people incorrectly confuse word endings

Like "orientated"? That one makes me nuts.

Oh wait, I guess it doesn't fit. It's not that a word ending is confused with another; it's that the word ending doesn't exist.

by Anonymousreply 1112/06/2012

Oy I didn't read the whole post!

by Anonymousreply 1212/06/2012

I think [italic]orientated[/italic] is a Britishism.

by Anonymousreply 1312/06/2012

Remember Bush saying "Too many ob-gyns aren't able to practice their love with women"?

by Anonymousreply 1412/06/2012

I'm with you, vis a vis "addicting. Oh well. I guess it's now a word.

by Anonymousreply 1512/06/2012

"Servicing" always makes me think of blow jobs. My boss also sometimes innocently uses the expression "hook-up" to mean "meet" and I have to suppress a chortle.

by Anonymousreply 1612/06/2012

Hook-up was an innocent meeting, until ambiguous perverts with their nonsensical sex definitions hijacked it.

by Anonymousreply 1712/06/2012

To serve man.

by Anonymousreply 1812/06/2012

OP, why do you have such a distaste for using the word "service" as a verb? Are you grammarphobic?

by Anonymousreply 1912/06/2012

[quote]Shouldn't they have said we "serve" five hundred clients?

It's a cookbook!

by Anonymousreply 2012/06/2012

When I hear people say "conversate" I'm tempted to "service" them with my foot up their ass.

by Anonymousreply 2112/06/2012

You're cute, R21.

by Anonymousreply 2212/06/2012

R3 the word "serving" is also considered the gerund of the verb. In that sense it can act as a noun and not just a participle.

by Anonymousreply 2312/07/2012

OP..."servicing" is correct because it implies that the service is ongoing; there is action taking place.

"Serve" is also correct, but "serve" in this context has the implication that it's very start and stop, meaning it's one after the other. Whereas, "servicing" implies ongoing customer service or a bit more personal.

by Anonymousreply 2412/07/2012
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