Is the word "Actioning" a real word?


Ok, so this came up in a conversation with a co-worker, a character was “actioning” something, and to me, it just sounded wrong.

edit: grammatical fix.


It’s only a RealWord™ if you write for Fox News, or you are the current president of the United States.


I don’t know how you’d “action” something. What the hell are you doing to it when you’re “actioning” it?


It was in a bug report for our game:

“Characters clip through the freezer door after actioning the hot spot”


Things are said to be actionable, so why not actioning? I’m not sure if actionable is a real word either, though.


It must be RealWord argument day. I’ve been arguing with a co-worker who claims “winningest” is a real word. He thinks he has won because has it listed (but marked as “informal”).


Wow, I didn’t realize I’d be in the minority. Of course “actioning” is a word.


I guess everyone is too good for both “using” and “activating”.


I’m of the opinion that if enough people use a word, then it is a real word. That’s how language evolves after all. If you take the French approach, and decide that words can only be real if they fit a certain set of rules, such as not already having suitable alternatives, then I think you will end up with a dead language.

I guess that’s my liberal approach to everything in life showing through…


Was my initial thought exactly.


How can it not be a real word? You spelled it, didn’t you?


You and your strategery, Tim.


Are you sure you’re not being disengenuine about this?


It’s not a word, but it doesn’t help that the English language is inconsistent on this (and so many other rules). Action is a noun. You’re supposed to add “-ing” to verbs. Running, walking, reading, etc. are words. Kittening, lamping, etc. are nonsense.

Then it doesn’t help that some nouns are also sometimes the verbs for that object. “I’m going to phone someone.”

The corporate world is responsible for turning nouns into verbs: chairing, hoteling, and now actioning. So while you can get away with using these words in the office, you sound like an idiot using them in real life.


I had a friend use that line of rationale when I made fun of her for saying “We need more tableage.” when we needed to pull over another table at a bar.

There is certainly evolution in any living language. Take podcast for instance. But, the stuff you hear people make up to seem clever or intelligent these days is just ridiculous.


I said if enough people use a word it is “real”, not that any word that is used is real :).

Words like “gameplay” are not in the dictionary, but you can find millions of instances of it if you search for it in google. It’s a word, in my opinion. I’ve heard people use “action” as a verb enough times now to accept that it is a “real” word, even if I don’t like it myself.


It’s a verbification, which is what happens when you nounify something.

  • Alan


I wish tech support departments were banned from making up new words or from molesting existing words. Every time I get an e-mail from our systems support asking me to validate something I reply with an over-written sentence describing my inability to lend validity or sanction, but rather that I can tell them what happened. Then I criticize their extremely poor design decisions and make all kinds of friends upstairs.