Friday, April 15, 2005

"Church" is a Verb

...so says a sign outside the Seventeenth Church of Christ, Scientist (Wabash and Wacker). Mind you, this church and I also have some differences of opinion about the validity of the germ theory of disease (me being a microbiologist and all), but that's neither here nor there.

While "google" is a verb, "friend" is a verb in the facebook-sense, and many other things have been "verbed" lately (up to and including "verb"), "church" is not a verb.

"Church" may serve as a noun, and it may be an adjective (church people, church doctrine), it is not a verb.

I'll begrudgingly let the Church of Christ, Scientist believe that prayer will heal their syphilis, but I won't let them claim "chruch" is a verb. They've crossed the line.

2 comments:

Adam said...

Apparently, according to dictionary.com, church is a verb. Don't ask me, I'm just as bewildered as you.

Have you considered though that what was meant was some kind of more subtle message. Like, "church is action." Although I may be stretching this a bit.

0 said...

Sorry, but "to church" has a very long history, reaching back to late Middle English, as is duly noted in the OED. One "churches" a new-born child by ceremonially bringing it into church. This meaning could be expanded to refer to the "churching" of an adult who gets religion.

Even the more modern American use of "church" as a verb to refer to calling into account in church goes back to the early nineteenth century.

Sorry.