access

LV4-26

Senior Member
Hello,

I've read somewhere* that the use of "access" as a verb isn't admitted by all English speakers and that a sentence like
You can access your account online
can be objected to.

What say you ? :)

* Here is where

Interesting page, by the way

Thanks for your answers
Jean-Michel
 
  • Tabac

    Senior Member
    U. S. - English
    LV4-26 said:
    Hello,

    I've read somewhere* that the use of "access" as a verb isn't admitted by all English speakers and that a sentence like
    You can access your account online
    can be objected to.

    What say you ? :)

    * Here is where

    Interesting page, by the way

    Thanks for your answers
    Jean-Michel
    American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language has accepted it at least since 1992, when the 3rd edition was published. The same dictionary that I bought in 1969 did not list it as a verb.

    I was shocked when I first heard the use as a verb, but it makes sense.
     

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I use it that way frequently, for what it's worth.... I understand the objection, but I don't share it.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Sorry people, it's IT's fault - again.
    The OED lays the blame clearly:
    1. trans. a. To gain access to (data, etc., held in a computer or computer-based system, or the system itself).
    First example listed is from 1962.

    I use it all the time, in this kind of context, so it came as a surprise to see access (verb) questioned.
     

    VenusEnvy

    Senior Member
    English, United States
    I've always used "access" as a verb. Upon hearing in this thread that it has been debated, I was rather confused. Why, now, would people oppose using "access" as a verb?....
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Mr. Brians (based upon the introduction to his book), is apparently much more of a prescriptionist when it comes to acceptance (or in his case, non-acceptance)of the evolutionary quality of the language. However, he claims to have consulted several dictionaries to field his research.

    Apparently, however, based upon the contributions of our own very wise forer@s', he did not consult the OED, American Heritage Dictionary, nor Webster's, which I recently consulted. I also looked at both M-W online and Dictionary.com. In all instances "access" is perfectly acceptable as a verb.
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    The evolution of language will not be impacted by curmudgeons like me, who use acess as a verb all the time.

    From Jean-Michel's source, one of my own pet peeves:

    One (very large) group of people thinks that using “impact” as a verb is just nifty: “The announcement of yet another bug in the software will strongly impact the price of the company’s stock.” Another (very passionate) group of people thinks that “impact” should be used only as a noun and considers the first group to be barbarians. Although the first group may well be winning the usage struggle, you risk offending more people by using “impact” as a verb than you will by substituting more traditional words like “affect” or “influence.”
    http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/impact.html
     

    nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    One of my personal theories has long been that one of the peculiar strengths of the english language is its flexibility.

    Of course, this also makes it particularly hard to learn as there are few clues as to whether a word is a noun, verb, or adjective.

    We make nouns of verbs, verbs of nouns, and adjectives of nearly anything.

    Doing so is particularly useful in evolving technical fields where the language has to be invented along with the processes and devices it applies to.

    And in a cultural sense leads to interesting literature, where the ability to turn a phrase is considered special, which leads to a rapid evolution of the language itself.

    I personally have never been a fan of "language conservatives", primarily because they are usually trying to use whatever "funny notions" they have about what "should be" as a means of imposing their own "funny notion" of a class system on the world around them.

    That said, I'm currently toying with the idea that maybe our current culture, built on the worship of the electronic media, has made the creation of language far too accessible, too easy. By opening the doors to a true democracy of ideas and speech, we have inadvertently flooded ourselves with foul decrepit filty garbage. Turns out most people dont have the sense to separate their sewage from their drinking water, at least when it comes to language.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    I definitely use this verb in the sense of computers. Thinking about it I would not use it for non-computer contexts - "I accessed the data base":tick: "I accessed the corridor" hmmm, well I would never say that. "I gained access to the corridor" - fine.
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I work in a performing arts theatre. While shows are going on in our small proscenium house, the only way to access the backstage area, without walking through the auditorium or going outside, is through a small corridor that leads to a ship's ladder at the back of the stage.
     
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