WARNING: Potential thread hijacking ahead!
I’m shocked! I looked at the definition at the link Deb provided, which is from the Oxford Dictionary folks. Before giving the definition, it gave the part of speech as, “verb [no object].”
SERIOUSLY? “No object”? How bad have things become when the Oxford Dictionary people (as in Oxford English Dictionary, aka, OED) think the English-speaking public needs to have basic grammar terms dumbed down like this? And their slogan is “Language matters”!
The term is “intransitive,” and in the U.S. this concept is CURRENTLY introduced somewhere between the 4th and 6th grades (as I just confirmed with a bit of research).
I checked several other on-line dictionaries, and fortunately (although this may be the luck of the draw), they are still using the terms “transitive” and “intransitive.” I also checked several print dictionaries (although admittedly not any particularly new ones) and many of them even use the abbreviations “tr.” and intr.” and obviously expect people to know what that means.
Even before the advent of the Internet, there used to be a debate over whether media led society to be increasingly sexualized and crude, and increasingly secular, and etc., etc.; or whether media merely REFLECTED society’s movement.
That same debate is worth having with regards to the dumbing down issue.
(BTW, if anyone's reaction to this is, “Well, I wasn’t taught those terms,” it’s all but certain you’re remembering incorrectly. The problem is—at least in the U.S.—students rarely master certain language development and language arts skills, and remember even less. They also FREQUENTLY fail to master grammatical terms, even though they are taught them. Further, standardized testing doesn’t test for this stuff; and now so much education in the States is driven by the standardized tests.)
End of rant. (Sorry Deb.)
"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow Galahad or Mordred; middle
things are gone." C.S. Lewis
“The chief purpose of life … is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks. To do as we say in the Gloria in Excelsis ... We praise you, we call you holy, we worship you, we proclaim your glory, we thank you for the greatness of your splendor.” J.R.R. Tolkien