Monday, November 21, 2011

Giving vs. Gifting

I've noticed an interesting linguistic trend of late: saying "gifted" instead of "given" or "gave." As in, "A swap partner gifted me this yarn."

Why the difference?

It seems like folks are using "gifted" to emphasize the intent behind the yarn or object. If it's bought as a gift with the recipient in mind, it is "gifted" yarn. (No word on whether using gifted yarn makes one a gifted knitter.) If the yarn is simply passed on for free, it has been given.

Here's the distinction:
Example 1: My sister-in-law had bought some yarn thinking she would knit or crochet a baby blanket. She tried, gave up, and then stuck the yarn in a closet. When I started knitting, six years ago, she passed the bag of yarn on to me. She gave it to me.

Example 2: By contrast, when I started knitting, I became semi-obsessed with Noro Kureyon after seeing these armwarmers in Stitch and Bitch Nation. My sister was living in Japan at the time, so I (erroneously) assumed it would be easy for her to find Noro over there, and I asked for Kureyon for Christmas. She couldn't find any, at least on Okinawa, so she searched the interwebs for the perfect color combo for me and I received a bag of shade 124 (now sadly unavailable) for the holiday. I finally found the perfect pattern for this yarn in Carol Feller's Spoked Cardigan, and now have a gorgeous striped sweater made from the yarn she gifted to me.

Given is great; gifted is better...and we now have a new verb in our lexicon!

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