It seems to be a fad these days to take a word and add “–age” to the end of it to invent a new noun. I hereby dub this phenomenon “nounage.”
In most cases, there already exists a noun that describes the intended concept.
For example, I got a ride home from work one day with my buddy Mikey, who lived on the same side of town, because my car was in the shop for repairs. We called him Mikey because we had three Mikes at the office, so we called one Mike, called the second one Michael, and called the third Mikey to avoid confusion. Anyway, when Mikey was driving me home on a three-lane road, he asked: “What is the proper laneage?” The left lane was definitely preferred, but his word selection, albeit amusing, was also gauche.
I recently saw a television commercial with two young men trying to outdo each other in coming up with new –age words, such as breakfastage, dinnerage, and spillage-age. Such atrocities are enough to make a Grammar Meister want to toss one’s lunchage.
If you are tempted to coin a new word with the suffix –age, be kind and take a moment to think of another word that is already a noun. Choose your verbiage wisely.
Here are some permissible expressions you are free to use in your technical writing:
acreage footage mileage seepage steerage
baggage frontage outage sewage stoppage
blockage fruitage package shortage storage
breakage linkage passage shrinkage tankage
damage manage percentage spillage voltage
drainage message postage spoilage wreckage