In your most recent edition (Island Sand Paper, “Council Approves Fireworks,” May 22, 2020 issue), you published the phrase, “’Everyone who lives in this Town is one to two degrees of separation from someone who will work or recreate downtown,’ said Veach.”
Does this mean lots of people are going to make new people downtown? Are they going to create something new, downtown? Surely, it doesn’t mean that they are going to indulge in “recreation”, downtown? “Recreation” is a noun, I think, or perhaps an adverb, but certainly isn’t a verb.
Remember the infamous phrase used by broadcasters during one of the Gulf wars? “The target has been attrited!”. “Destroyed”, “obliterated”, “damaged”, perhaps … but ” attrition” is not a verb, either, and you won’t find “attrited” in any dictionary. How can one incentivize you Americans (Darn, now I’m doing it?) into not mangling the English language in print?
If this is a direct quote, then you are pointing up the fact that the speaker is an idiot. Perhaps some judicial editing might even be appreciated. Isn’t that what editors are for?
Stay safe, well, and capable of editing.
Editor’s Note: Someone needs a new dictionary and maybe a hobby. Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides a definition of “recreate” as an intransitive verb meaning “to take recreation.” And “damn” is spelled with an ‘n.’