NOUNS AND VERBS. When we played Scrabble with my family forty years ago, my father was a staunch believer that the prefix “re” could be placed before any verb to express the thought of repeated action. Similarly “ing” could be freely added in surprising ways to form a gerund. The letters section of the Times Literary Supplement recently had a discussion of writers who turned nouns into verbs. One letter writer gave an example of Shakespeare’s use of “child” as a verb. Of course, I thought of my father.

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