Data as a verb

May 14, 2015

Topic

Statistics  /  ,

As in, you data me, I data you, and they data us. Jer Thorp argues for a verbified data, because after all, it’s already in a grammatical shift with the whole big data thing. Just take it a step further already.

Since data has already endured such a drastic grammatical shift, perhaps we can persuade the gods of common usage to shift the word’s accepted part-of-speech entirely: can we make data into a verb? In case this still seems too outlandish, consider two synonymic neighbours of data: record, and measure. Both of these words exist as nouns (I made a record), as verbs (We measured the temperature of the room) and indeed as verbal nouns (They found a list of measurements and recordings). In comparison, isn’t it strange to keep data confined to the dull, inactive realm of the noun?

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It’s no accident I have a page titled Learning to Data.