Data points: nouning 2/27/11

Harper’s Magazine, Feb. 2011, in “An ad creative’s glossary” (box in “A Superbowl Spot for Uncle Sam: Can Madison Avenue make us love our government”, a forum with creative officers at four ad firms, moderated by Thomas Frank and Donovan Hohn):

BUY: the purchase of advertising time or space, e.g.. “a $3 million network-television buy”

Examples in context throughout the piece.

The verb buy has been being nouned for around 130 years. From OED2:

orig. U.S. A purchase; best buy, the most worth-while purchase or bargain. Also fig. Phr. on the buy: actively buying.

with cites from 1879 (the best buy), 1890 (biggest buy), 1903 (my new buy), 1911 (a good buy), 1929 (on the buy), 1952 (the best buys), etc.

The adperson’s buy is more specific than purchase and briefer than purchase of advertising time or space, so it has a lot going for it, in the appropriate context, of course (on specificity and brevity as motivations for category conversions, see here).


2 Responses to “Data points: nouning 2/27/11”

  1. Fritinancy Says:

    There’s also “creative” (noun) in the headline, signifying “a person who performs a creative function, such as designing or copywriting, for an ad agency.” I’m a person of that very description, and I’ve seen “creative” (noun) for at least 15 years.

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