Professor William Gleason, the incoming chairman of the Department of English, in his delightful article “Goodnight, iPad?” (feature, Oct. 10), states that the author “playfully foregrounds many of the central questions.” The last time I looked, “foreground” was a noun. No matter how I try and diagram the sentence, it appears that he is using a noun as a verb. This has become common usage by sports writers, barking heads on TV, and various other media types. My question is: Has Professor Gleason legitimized this usage so that I can start using it? Having just bought my first smartphone, I am eager to move into the 21st century and want to get it right.
In Response to: Goodnight, iPad? Children’s literature in a digital age