Don’t gift us

A reader asked about using “gift” as a verb “as in a fast food restaurant that encourages me to ‘gift’ myself with one of their gift cards.” I told her that we frown on this usage at The N&O, as do others who work with words. Most of the time, “give” serves very well.

“Gift” as a verb does appear outside advertising, though. Here is an entry on gift from The American Heritage Book of English Usage. It cites Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.