A New Grammar Low

One of the common grammar errors that really sets my teeth to grinding is the use of “login”, “backup”, and the like as verbs. “Click to login” drives me nuts. I’ve mentioned it before, and my august sister pointed out the perfect argument to make my point: “You would never say ‘I loginned’, would you?” Today, this sentence reached me:

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I suspect that the writer of the above sentence was not a native English speaker, but has seen backup misused so often that he naturally treated it as a regular verb. This is how it begins. Backups, as the plural of backup, will get by the spelling checkers, but come on. I imagine that in another couple of decades we will indeed be reading and hearing about people who backupped their data. And I will be the crazy old curmudgeon grumbling in the corner.

9 thoughts on “A New Grammar Low

  1. I want to see a widget here: “click to Loggins” that takes me directly to the theme song to ‘Top Gun.’

    “Hiiighwaaay to…THE DANGER ZONE!”

  2. I sent this message to the folks at Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show a few minutes ago:

    I really like your magazine, but man, I have to tell you that a site with any literary pretense at all should be able to differentiate between login and log in. Seriously.

    I wonder what effect (if any) that will have on the submission I’m preparing…

  3. This to Swink Magazine Online this afternoon:

    There I was, signupping for your submission system, (after backupping up my work, of course), when I saw that if I was already signupped I could simply login.

    I know it’s a common thing these days, but I hold sites like yours with literary pretensions to a higher grammatical standard. Certainly I expect you to know the difference between “log in” and “login.”

    Not a big deal, and before we know it login will be a verb, though an oddly irregular one. But you have editors there, and they will be graded by the content of your Web site, not just the stories you publish.

    Jerry Seeger

    Once again I have to wonder whether what this will do to my chances of getting accepted.

  4. “I just logged on a second ago”

    To log on is a legitimate verb, I mean come on, loginned? Couldn’t you have thought of something better than that.

    • In your own response you correctly used log on and not logon, demonstrating my point.

      ‘To log in’ (or ‘to log on’) is certainly a legitimate verb. ‘To login’ (or ‘to logon’) is not. The test of conjugating the hypothetical verb is what yields ‘loginned’, and demonstrates the incorrectness of using login as a verb.

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