I’m following the BBC’s excellent Olympic live-update page, which combines a video stream with irreverent text updates from a relay team of BBC staffers. One of the things that keeps cropping up is viewers complaining about the use of the word ‘medal’ as a verb.
Look, folks: if you’re going to get all nit-picky about grammar, make sure you check your facts. The OED isn’t free, of course, and the edition I have to hand is one of the crappy one. But pick any other online dictionary and you’ll find that ‘medal’ can be a verb. Here’s the American Heritage Dictionary on my Mac, for example:
medal | ˈmedl |
a metal disk with an inscription or design, made to commemorate an event or awarded as a distinction to someone such as a soldier, athlete, or scholar.
verb ( medaled | ˈmɛdld |, medaling | ˈmɛdlɪŋ |; also chiefly Brit. medalled, medalling) [ intrans. ]
earn a medal, esp. in an athletic contest : Norwegian athletes medaled in 12 of the 14 events
Yes, I was surprised too. But it’s not bad English just because we haven’t had the chance to use it very often.