Sunday, June 25, 2006

"compete the position"

Yet another verb has been adapted to today's perceived linguistic needs . . . "compete," formerly labelled and broadly considered to be an intransitive verb, is now used as a transitive verb.  Want to hire or promote someone using a full and open selection process?  Then you'll need to "compete the position."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit used the phrase in a 2000 decision:  "Unable to dispute that its refusal to compete the position adversely affected Cones, HHS cannot legitimately contend that it took no adverse personnel action against him."

My spot check of 3-4 dictionaries shows that this usage is yet to be formally recognized.


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