QT Grammar R Us Seminar on the English Language


+ Bill Wade, a Chicago reader, regarding a Minneapolis reader who wondered when “”contact” became “reach out to” and asked when we could have “contact” back, writes:
“I’m recalling that ‘Reach Out and Touch Someone’ was a an advertising line for the old AT&T–and that until recently, ‘contact’ was a noun, not a verb.”
+ K.R., a Baltimore reader, writes:
“As you probably know, Rex Stout barred the use of ‘contact’ as a verb.”
QT knows.
QT will admit it has read a few dozen of Stout’s Nero Wolfe mysteries.
It was Wolfe who burned a copy of Webster’s Third International Dictionary in his fireplace because it allowed “infer” and ‘imply” to be used interchangeably.
As for his response to visitors who used “contact” as a verb:
“Contact is not a verb under this roof.”
Then Wolfe opened another beer. . . .
 
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