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I find it much easier to say:

  1. I can RDP to your computer
  2. Please SFTP the files to me

than to say:

  1. I can use the RDP (protocol) to establish a connection to your computer
  2. Please send the files to me using the SFTP (protocol)

These technical protocol terms are not verbs: RDP, SFTP, SSH, telnet, VPN, email, etc.

How can I get around this to be grammatically correct and at the same time avoid the clumsiness?

Or, one day, (already?) will using these technical terms as verb be approved and added to modern English grammar rules?

  • 2
    You seem to be giving "grammar" a dangerous degree of influence over your thoughts. Prescriptive grammar is a fallacy; a false god that only had as much power as we are willing to give it. Language evolves constantly, the healthy way to view grammar is as a descriptive tool for constructing and deciphering meanings. People who would tell you to not "verb nouns" are standing in the face of hundreds of years of precedent, and scornful of great writers going back before Shakespeare. Ask yourself "is 'rdp into' semantically meaningful?", if so... Use it. – H.R.Rambler Feb 18 '16 at 23:45
  • @H.R.Rambler totally agree. Its the language that reflects the grammar, not the grammar governing the language. But being the minority is also dangerous. As I am no advocator, I want to be "safe". – user1589188 Feb 19 '16 at 2:33
  • 2
    Fair enough :-) Just remember where the minority lies in terms of technology. Even late adopters phone, mail, and text their friends; in spite of the clear nounness of those words. It's an extreme minority who would say the grammatically and syntactically correct "I have added a creditable item to the log for my session" rather than "I logged in". Or "I will provide authentication as a digital signature on my activity" rather than "sign in". The majority usage is to reference the protocol plus (in, to, from, etc.) as the action. – H.R.Rambler Feb 19 '16 at 3:44
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I would choose to use abstraction with the potential addition of "via" if clarity is needed.

Depending on with whom your are speaking, you audience my vary well not care about the underlying technology. in which case

I can RDP into your computer

Becomes

I can remotely connect to your computer.

Abstracting out the technological details will in most cases bridge the gap of communication between you and your potentially less knowledgeable audience.

However, if you need to specify the technology, consider the abstracted sentence followed by "via"

I can remotely connect to your computer via RDP.

I believe this makes your sentence more comprehensible, yet provides the requisite details.

SteveJ

  • Wow! The use of "via" is just brilliant! Like "Connected to your computer via RDP", "Send the files via SFTP", which are simple and effective. Really great alternative then to use them as verbs, love them! – user1589188 Feb 18 '16 at 23:11
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The answer from this post suggest that

If you're using a non-verb acronym or initialism as a verb, you're already in the realm of jargon. If you're writing in a context where that's acceptable, you should add a simple "ed" or "ing" for a suffix unless you're going for a humorous effect. When acronyms are absorbed into the language, they may acquire verb forms; for example, the verb meaning "to produce a laser beam" is "lase," retroactively treating the acronym for "light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation" as if it meant "something that 'lases.'"

In relation to your question, it seems acceptable to use these acronyms as they are in your fist examples

I can RDP to your computer

Later (once adopted to modern English grammar rules as you put it) it may become it's own phrase or term... SFTP might turn into 'sift' for a silly example.

  • Thanks for the info. I would love to see these acronyms being absorbed one day. But before that I guess an alternative is still needed. – user1589188 Feb 18 '16 at 23:13

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