Copyright is a Noun, Damn It

A recent article in yesterday’s New York Times demonstrates a growing grammatical irregularity that needs to be stopped:

In the complaint, the record companies contend that LimeWire’s operators are “actively facilitating, encouraging and enticing” computer users to steal music by failing to block access to copyright works and building a business model that allows them to profit directly from piracy.

Copyright is not an adjective, damn it.The correct adjectival form is “copyrighted”. I first noticed this usage in British papers, web sites, and broadcasts; and I just assumed it was yet another distinction between British and American English like “drink driving.” However lately, this improper use of the noun copyright has been showing up in American magazines and web sites; and now it’s in the New York Times of all places. I thought I could trust the New York Times to remain a bastion of proper American English, but apparently it too is succumbing to the onslaught of abbreviated IM slang.

I’ve had it. This must be stopped. Folks, copyright can be a noun or a verb, but it is not an adjective. The adjective is “copyrighted”, not “copyright”. Let’s use it.

2 Responses to “Copyright is a Noun, Damn It”

  1. Ed your brother Says:

    Ok. I remember an argument we had when I asserted “quote” is a verb, not a noun. The noun is “quotation.” You condescendingly explained to me that one of the glories of the English language was its evolution through practical usage and I should just suck it up because “quote” had been being used as a noun for decades.

  2. JerryBrightonhammer Says:

    What in the name of Jerry Brightonhammer was that all about?
    I dont’ know but it doesn’t make sense to me.

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