Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Experience

It's not a verb.

I learned that my senior year in high school when I did a research paper on the writer Bernard Malamud. It was one of his pet peeves.

If you think about it, using “experience” as a verb is about as substance-free of a verb as one can get. Verbs are about action, and if something is “experienced” (sic), that says absolutely nothing about the action other than there was action.

CBS News once had as their tag line, “Experience. CBS News.” On the screen, the first word was on a line by itself. The period almost seems like a token to the editors that “experience” is a noun, not a verb, yet still allowed the marketing folks a way for the voiceover to use “experience” sounding like a verb.

Henry Blackaby wrote a study called Experiencing God, and this experience (sorry) from my past causes me to cringe just a little every time I hear that title. Interestingly, the publisher originally suggested Knowing God as a title, but Blackaby rejected this based on viewing the word knowledge having a narrow connotation.

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