+0
I am editing a document for a friend. The use of the word "referenced" in this sentence bothers me, but it may be okay. "He referenced a dictionary and used guidewords to help him locate the word." Is "referenced" used properly in this sentence?
1 2
Comments  (Page 2) 
"This sounds more right"

Does it? All because the president of the United States of America pronounces words incorrectly, doesn't make it right ha ha. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nucular#Notable_users

All because the wrong use of English words becomes popular, doesn't make it right.

I tend to agree with "Anonymous" above who says "I sense you would agree with me that this is ignorant, born, I think, of a liking for the pomposity of it in someone who is shaky in English and wishes to cover it."
"Guide words" are the words at the top of the pages of a dictionary--the first and last word of the page.
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Anonymous" All because the wrong use of English words becomes popular, doesn't make it right.I tend to agree with "Anonymous" above who says "I sense you would agree with me that this is ignorant, born, I think, of a liking for the pomposity of it in someone who is shaky in English and wishes to cover it."
Just out of curiosity, when exactly did English reach its pinnacle of perfection?

After Chaucer, yes, yes. After Shakespeare... surely yes? Oscar Wilde? Jane Austen?

When was it perfect so that every change since then was the result of ignorance and made by those with a "shaky" grasp of English? Let me guess- it was whatever year you had freshman English. After that, each change has been an abomination.

The language belongs to the people who use it. When the usage changes, the language changes. This word has been in dictionaries for quite a while.

Get over yourself.
It was a question I sought to have answered because I wanted to do the best I could for that person. That's all.
Err, aren't all those dictionary citations of its use as a noun, not a verb? Look carefully at how those dictionaries define it as a verb. Despite the march of linguistic change, they do seem to be more restrictive in its use as a verb.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies

Some dictionaries do now seem to list "reference" as a verb (as in, "he referenced Chomsky"). To my ear that sounds wrong, I would say "he referred to Chomsky".

Although a misuse can become an accepted use, it can be a bad thing. Here it undermines the original meaning and use of "reference" as a verb (i.e. to add references to sources) and is quite unnecessary where the word "refer" already exists and fulfills the required purpose perfectly (and is shorter).

Thank you so much for responding. I am quite late in recognizing your response! I have no desire to admonish anyone for using the word "reference" instead of "refer." However, if I am asked to edit something, I want to do my best. I often edit things for teachers. I don't want some highly-educated parent to denigrate a teacher for grammar. We have to stick together!

A lot of things that have become acceptable in today's society are decidedly unacceptable. Thank you so much for responding!

Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.

I realize this is an old thread but wanted to weigh in on the topic. As a professional technical writer, I see verbing on a regular basis. And while it is generally accepted in day to day conversation to use "reference" as a verb in conversation, we consider such use as jargon and enthusiastically abhor its use in official printed material.