Saturday, 24 September 2011

Vigorous verbs

Are your verbs working hard today?

Are you using strong verbs like 'decide' or are you using a weaker version: 'make a decision'?

Vigorous verbs
The Oxford Guide to Plain English recommends vigorous verbs to give your writing power and passion.

Ditch 'make an application' and use 'apply'. Forget about 'performing an evaluation' and evaluate instead. Never conduct an analysis, just analyse!


Quicker to scan?
Example 1

  • The government's proceeding with the introduction of local recycling centres.
  • The government's introducing local recycling centres.
  • The government's setting up local recycling centres.
Example 2
  • The team's role is to perform problem definition and resolution.
  • The team's role is to define problems and resolve them.
  • The team defines and solves problems.
Source: Oxford Guide to Plain English by Martin Cutts

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