Saturday, April 29, 2006

As in the Cylinder

Dear everyone,
To graduate does not take a direct object as a verb when used to describe an individual graduating from an institution. "Kimiko graduated college this spring" means one of the following things:
- Kimiko conferred a degree upon college this spring.
- Kimiko gradually changed college by degrees this spring.
- Kimiko arranged or divided college into steps or grades this spring.

I think people find that using graduate as a direct object verb in this way makes them sound smart or British or both (like Sir Ian McLellan), but in fact, to me, it simply sounds affected. Of course everyone will understand you perfectly, and I'm sure that in a few decades this usage will be standard and acceptable, but what is a blog for if not airing completely inconsequential grievances to a largely uninterested public? Here are some grammatically acceptable usages of to graduate.

- Hollywood Upstairs Medical School and Discount Electronics graduates a class of 200 this year.
- Elutherius Abednego Constington was graduated from Harvard in 1810.
- Barring further assault convictions, the university plans to graduate her this spring.
- I graduated from college.

Comments? Objections from Wobblies and Levellers?

1 comment:

Boots said...

how about: "I graduated your ass from my foot (cuz I kicked it, thereupon conferring a degree because the shoe I was wearing was actually a rubber stamp that said SUMMA CUM LAUDE and had ink all over it)"