I know I shouldn’t get in debates with strangers on Facebook (you know how dramatic these conversations can get). But, whenever I see public comments demonstrate harmful sociolinguistic notions, I always feel prompted to hop in. Letting our society continue to judge people for ill because of our backwards knowledge about language bothers me so much… and it hurts all of you, too, in how people will falsely judge you. From the perspective of linguistics as the real deal science, there is no reason why people should judge you for saying something like “adulting.”
If anyone starts speaking ill of your speech because you’re using words like “adulting” - congratulations, you are not doing anything that the English language hasn’t been doing for hundreds of years. You are not doing anything that many other languages haven’t been doing for thousands of years. What is happening with the word “adulting” is a very common, natural, beautiful, and legitimate process of the English language.
The word “adult” is becoming a denominal verb. What this means is that the word started historically as a noun in the English language, but over time has transitioned to being accepted as a verb, too. I give plenty of examples above of what other denominal verbs are in this language, older denominal verbs that no one would deride you on if you used it as a verb in your daily language.
People should not bulldoze you for using language in new and awesome ways. Linguistic evolution is a natural process and it’s always happening. Linguistic evolution is nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to ridicule. Linguistic evolution is not a sign that the English language (or any language) is “falling apart” and becoming “worse.” There is nothing agrammatical or illegitimate about saying words like “adulting.”
People, by judging the word “adulting,” are falling into a common sociolinguistic pattern of judging language for changing. There is no scientific reason to hold this negative stigma… it’s just people being unable to accept something that naturally always happens. Language is always changing, always morphing, always adapting to the next generation of speakers… and the latest changes are just as wonderful and grammatical as what was set in “stone” hundreds of years before.