Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Google, like all search companies, is entasked with providing an easy way to access information that’s important to people.

-- What "viable search engine competition" really looks like, blog.nullspace.com

What is the meaning of entasked / entasked with?

Is entasked with an obsolete phrase?

share|improve this question
1  
The text was written by an idiot. Who does the author suppose is giving tasks to Google? Some mythical "man behind the curtain"? Google identifies its own tasks. Furthermore, Google's task isn't what is described; it is rather to maintain a strong position in the world's mind-share in order to make money from its various revenue streams, and dominate the world by becoming the platform for all computing. People who use new words like "entasked", are usually ones who don't know how to use the perfectly good words that we already have, because they don't know how to think. Case in point. –  Kaz Jan 8 at 5:21

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It's an innovation. There are no results between 1800-2000 in Google Books Ngram Viewer, and there are likewise no results between 1810 and 2009 in the Corpus of Historical American English. The OED does have a brief entry for entask which says simply "see en- prefix", but since the word essentially does not exist in modern English, it's likely that this new use has been independently re-derived in the same fashion.

It clearly means "to be given a task":

Google is entasked with providing an easy way. . . .
Google has been given the task of providing an easy way. . . .

Personally, I don't think this qualifies as a standard derivation, and I'd suggest that learners of English avoid this word, as others may share my judgment. It sounds hokey.

share|improve this answer
4  
Interestingly there's already a word meaning was given a task. That word is tasked. "Google is tasked with providing..." has the same meaning, and is somewhat better English. –  Matt Jan 7 at 10:42
2  
The prefix en- can be added to nouns to create verbs. I wonder if whoever coined this term wasn't aware that task could already be used as a verb, so it needs no such prefix. If so, too bad that person was entrapped by that faulty logic! –  J.R. Jan 7 at 13:25
1  
Exactly; so strange to take a word which already has a certain meaning, and add a prefix in an attempt to give it that same meaning! I'm quite perplexed by this. I also don't consider it a standard word, and would encourage learners to use tasked (while being aware that apparently some people are making up things like entasked now!). –  WendiKidd Jan 7 at 17:48

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.