Stop saying turn on and turn off and start saying just on and off.
The phrasal verbs turn on and turn off haven't been relevant for a long time in the context of opening the
conduit of electricity into an electronic device or closing it. Yet they persist. When running a bath these two
verbs are appropriate since someone physically turns a handle in one direction to start water flowing into the
tub and when needed, turns the handle in the opposite direction to stop the flow. The verb turn is quite
appropriate since that's what one does ‐ turn something.
What part of a laptop, tablet, projector, phone, TV, remote, even stove, or any other business or consumer
electronic device do we turn? There aren't any. There isn't usually anything to turn. No knobs at all, yet we
continue to use the verb turn. Let's stop using the phrasal verbs and just use the words on and off as verbs.
For instance, let's use the words on and off as verbs as we use the verb open. Currently the word open is both
a noun and a verb while the words on and off are only nouns. This means we can say "the window is open" and
"open the window", but are limited to "the light is on" or "the light is off". Let's give the words on and off a verb
usage, so as we can say "open the window" we should also be able to say "on the light", "off the TV".
They might sound clumsy and silly at first, but no clumsier or sillier than adjusting to any other new verb such
as keyboarding. Besides most of us survived the switch from Imperial to Metric measurement and came to
terms with a new, odd vocabulary so give it a go.
Talk about clumsy. How about the obvious alternatives? Activate? Actuate? No not for me. I will not utter a
formal-sounding, three-syllable word when I am using the smallest, fastest, sleekest techno-thing. It seems to
defeat the purpose doesn't it? I would voice something concise, quick, and slick. Let's bring the English
language into parity with the technology it is used to describe. Let's make it as cool as the technology ‐
concise, quick, and slick.
On-Off ‐ there is enormous power behind these little words.
Another idea of Kevin Stumpf • 1 Cor 15:58 • Created: 2017Mar09 Updated: 2017Mar18