By LAWRENCE FELLOWS
Chair was once a perfectly good word, meaning a seat with a back and sometimes with arms. It was a thing to be sat on, and sometimes where a person with authority sat, that is, a place from which the person in the chair (the chairman) would conduct a meeting.
Although chairman is a word without gender, feminists have driven it nearly into oblivion, causing some people to think up words like chairwoman, chairperson, or even chair.
To be called a chair makes no more sense than for a conductor to be called a podium and to podium an orchestra, or for a preacher to be called a pulpit and to pulpit a congregation.
Not many dictionaries these days continue to support the old meaning of chair. That’s a pity. Nouns do become verbs, but we don’t have to hurry the process.