I've pointed out to him that most English speakers don't have verse as a verb, but that doesn't seem to deter him. And why should it? His friends all use it that way, and I know exactly what he means; there's no miscommunication.
You see where the confusion arises, don't you? The preposition versus sounds like verses.
- Brown verses (sic) the board of education (and he does so regularly)
- Round seven of Pelosi verses (sic) the CIA, no knockout.
- Studies do not typically provide separate outcome statistics for the males versus females included in the samples.
So what are we to make of this? The grammatical facts aside, I think it's interesting that:
- The kids are using it.
- It bugs me.
So why not? I'm not going to bother versing this word anymore (but I'm not going to start using it any time soon either.)
call me old fashioned, but doesn't "next week we're playing the black team" sound fine?
Sure, playing is fine, but perhaps versing sounds a little more competitive.
The students in Australia almost universally use this expression right through primary school. It drives me crazy! They won't be told that it's incorrect. I think (hope!) they change in later years.
However, I tutor a newly arrived Afghani boy in year 9 (about 14 years old) and he refuses to stop using this 'verb' because he hears it from his friends and they are 'cooler' than an old tutor.
Oh they'll change in their later years all right. They'll stop hearing people telling them it's incorrect.
Is it just me or is the pronunciation of versus different from the pronunciation of verses? I pronounce the former with an unvoiced sibilant on the end and the latter with a voiced sibilant. I wouldn't confuse the two in spoken form and in written only if one of them were misspelled.
I'm with Faldone, they don't actually sound the same. versus = [vɹ̥sɪs;] verses = [vɹ̥sɪz].
Faldone, I'd say they are pronounced the same in everyday Australian English.
I don't mind this, even if, from my knowledge of French, it'd be nice if "We're versing..." meant "We're beating" or "We're going to beat", extending from the meaning "tip out".
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