Olympic athletes used to win medals. Now they just “medal.”
Commentators and competitors, it seems, can’t stop using it as a verb.
Cue fury on Twitter, with many decrying “medaled” and “medaling” as bad English.
Step forward John Simpson, chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.
Get used to it, he says.
The OED has long recognized “medal” as a verb. It even cites the earliest example of it from a letter written by Lord Byron in 1822.
What’s more, Simpson adds, podium – as in “she podiumed” – could soon join it. “It is not unlikely for it to switch to a verb,” he says.
Grammarians may grumble – but it has led to at least one joke.
“All I wanted was a gold medal,” says the Scooby-Doo villain. “And I would have gotten away with it – had it not been for those medaling kids.”