Google Books effortlessly antedates the noun verbatim to a 1728 edition of John Dunton's "The Athenian Oracle," itself a collection of pieces from Dunton's periodical The Athenian Mercury, published (so says Wikipedia) from 1691 to 1697. "If we take no notice" of a letter-writer's threat, says the Mercury author, "the Verbatim of the Letter is to be Printed (take their own pretty Phrase)."My Random House dictionary doesn't offer verbatim as a noun (only adj. and adv.), but my OED does.
03 March 2011
It's o.k. to use "verbatim" as a noun
Jan Freeman, writing in Throw Grammar from the Train, was startled to hear "a guest on NPR's "Diane Rehm Show," commenting on the faux-Koch-brother phone call to Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, [say] he couldn't quote "the verbatim of the call." To her surprise (and mine), this is grammatically acceptable:
Labels: English language