Verbizing on the lam

From the American tv police detective series Nash Bridges, S3 E19 “Lady Killer” (from 4/10/98): detectives Bridges (played by Don Johnson) and Joe Dominguez (played by Cheech Marin) have learned that Insp. Rick Bettina, under arrest in this episode, has escaped from custody:

Bridges, on the phone: He fugitized!

Dominguez: He fugitized?!

Yes, the verb fugitize ‘flee as a fugitive, go fugitive’. And no, it’s not in the OED, not that you should have expected it would be; fresh verbizings — with meanings that are clear in context, as here — are coined almost daily. In fact, this one has been independently innovated several times in the past.

On verbizing.  In the world of category conversion in morphology, there’s verbingverbizing, verbifying, and verbicating. From my 11/12/09 posting “Short shot #20: California + ify”:

English has several productive schemes for N-to-V conversion, among them (all examples made up so as to make them parallel):

zero derivation (direct conversion): They are trying to Manhattan Palo Alto. [verbing]

suffixation with -izeThey are trying to Manhattanize Palo Alto. [verbizing]

suffixation with -ifyThey are trying to Manhattanify Palo Alto. [verbifying]

suffixation with -ic-ateThey are trying to Manhattanicate Palo Alto. [verbicating]

The semantics here is causative transitive ’cause to be like Manhattan’ (in some contextually specified way); there are other possible causative transitive interpretations — for example, ’cause to be like a Manhattanite’ (in some contextually specified way) in They are trying to Manhattan(izeQuentin Crisp and  ’cause to be like something from Manhattan’ (in some contextually specified way) in They are trying to Manhattan(ize) city traffic here.

In principle, such converted verbs can have at least two other ranges of semantic interpretations, in addition to the causative transitives:

inchoative intransitive, denoting a change of state (in some contextually specified way): Palo Alto (has) Manhattan(iz)ed, Quentin Crisp (has) Manhattan(iz)ed, City traffic here (has) Manhattan(iz)ed

“behavior” (my ad hoc term) intransitive, denoting a characteristic “line of behaviour, action, practice, or policy” (as the Quinion affixes site puts it): Palo Alto often Manhattan(ize)s ‘often acts like Manhattan (in some contextually specified way)’ etc.

Then, from my 12/4/14 posting “Word play, some of it uncomfortable”

For years, I collected verbizing examples for intro morphology courses I taught at Ohio State and at Stanford. This was “fortuitous collection” — examples that I just happened to notice. About ten years ago I plugged into collections being made by Beth Levin, with some input from Larry Horn. Quickly the number of examples climbed into the thousands. Periodically I’ve posted on some of these — most recently on bumpkinization, on this blog on November 4th.

Now let’s call in the professionals, in particular lexicographer Orin Hargraves, who looked at verbizing in a Language Lounge column on Visual Thesaurus on 8/1/11. From that posting:

Though it doesn’t appear in English until the late 16th century, when documentation of contact with Romance languages became increasingly available, -ize has been unstoppable since. It is now freely tacked onto words and roots of any origin — not just Greek and Latin ones, which are the languages of -ize’s pedigree. Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary has about 1500 -ize verbs as headwords; the OED has about 2200.

The years from 1950 to 2000 were a golden age of -izing, when hundreds of new -ize verbs appeared in English. Many were regarded with derision when they first appeared, and those that were Americanisms (many) were often sniffed at by the Brits. But these verbs are all mainstream today, used by all without scare quotes or glosses.

Representative examples: computerize, containerize, incentivize, Mirandize, prioritize, securitize, texturize, weaponize. …

But my files also include many nonce creations: hostilize, sinisterize, disjointize, religiousize, donutize, etc.; including a large number based on proper names, whose interpretation depends crucially on the context of use (Gitmo-ize, Manhattanize, Nascarize, Walmart-ize, iPodize, WASP-ize, Keplerize (referring to a Menlo Park CA bookstore), Vermontize, (Christopher) Walkenize, etc. In the face of such facts, how could we judge that an example is “new”?

fugitized. Four more cites of fugitized: two functioning as a behavior intransitive (as in the Nash Bridges example), in a PST form; and two functioning as a causative transitive, in a PSP form in a passive construction.

PST, from the Reddit Men’s Rights boards on “free Roman Polanski”, from the poster stemgang in 2010 (link):

The article says that, “the victim wants all of it to end.” Well, it all would have ended, if Polanski had not fugitized in the first place. [‘fled the country’]

PST, from an “Ask a bail bondsman anything” discussion on  the AR15 forum, from poster ballagent100 on 2/14/17 (link):

Not only that but if you let the court hold your $10K so you can save $1k in bondsman’s fees, you won’t have anyone actively looking to find your buddy or family member or employee who just fugitized after buying a bus ticket for parts unknown. [‘fled the area, went fugitive’]

PSP, from the Montreal Serai site, in a posting “Bread and Wine … after 40 years” by Rana Bose on 1/18/14 (link):

So, after having travelled the globe over the years, through Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, listening to debates about social development, about “Springs” that turned to winter, about plurality, the impact of globalization and settler-ism, the meltdown and geo-political terror-wars that trigger mass exodus — I find myself fugitized [Bose’s italics] and subdued like the village priest in [Ignazio Silone’s 1936 novel]  Bread and Wine. Under wraps in Kolkata and Montreal. [‘made into a fugitive, forced into exile’]

PSP, as the title of the album Fugitized, by The Real Fugitives, released 2/8/19:



(Note fugitized letter I on the second version of the cover.)

From the Lifoti magazine (“NY-based … music related magazine mostly focus[ed] on pop culture”) for October 2019, “The Real Fugitives deliver a diversely energetic and professional musical presentation that engages audiences regardless of the performance venue” (a rave, excerpted here and reproduced without editing):

The Real Fugitives is a [Philadelphia-based] rock n’ roll ensemble made up of six members who are passionate about the art of making and performing original music. The band members are as follows: Larry Feldman on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, El Fairworth on lead guitar and backing vocals, David C. Kennedy on bass, Alan Tolz on keyboards and backing vocals, Sam Murray on sax Dave Kennedy on drums, percussion, and backing vocals.

The Real Fugitives deliver a diversely energetic and professional musical presentation that engages audiences regardless of the performance venue. The Real Fugitives history encompasses four decades, during which time the band has performed at countless venues locally and nationally, from intimate club settings to auditorium concerts and festivals.

Fugitized (2019) This, the most recent Real Fugitives release, is a ten song collection of powerhouse rock offerings, interspersed with an acoustic ballad, and a soulful rendition of The Bee Gees “To Love Somebody.” The entire CD is the culmination of the Real Fugitives musical diversity, quality songwriting, professional production, and artistic depth, which have been established and solidified throughout the band’s stimulating and enlightening four decade musical journey.

(I hear (pleasing) echoes of the Grateful Dead.)

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