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Monday, April 6, 2015

Week 14 Don't Nominalize, Verbalize

Don't Nominalize, Verbalize

Has your wordiness taken to adopting disguises? Or has it adopted a disguise?

Do you stand in agreement with me that this is one handsome dude? Or do you agree he is handsome?

You might not think these sentences are that different, and you're right. Sometimes, we attempt to give a more authoritative tone to our writing by changing verbs into nouns. (We should be doing the opposite, right?) Most of the time, our run-on diatribe ends up sounding like rubbish. 


We are making a recommendation that you undertake a lengthy study of this important issue.

We recommend that you study this issue.


He offered an explanation for why they had come to the conclusion they should raise an objection to making a change in the policy.

He explained why they had concluded they should object to changing the policy.1

Would you rather make a connection with your reader or connect with your reader? The noun form (connection) of the verb (connect) weighs down the sentence. 2

Verbs propel your thoughts economically, they drive the sentence. Be biased in favor of the verb. Keep your writing precise and clean so your reader isn't looking through the noun disguise for the beauty of your writing.

Revise the following:
a. Please take under consideration my proposal.
b. I made the decision to make a call to my dear old mum.
c. They came to an agreement they would reach a settlement out of court.
d. It is my suggestion that we make a proposal to make a refinement in the dephosphorization of taconite pellets.
e. She came to the realization that her only means to make an escape was to make a pretense of sleeping.

We are given to appreciation of followers who take to leaving comments. Oops, I mean, we appreciate your comments!

1. Mastering the Craft of Writing, Wilbers, pg 77

2. Mastering the Craft of Writing, Wilbers, pg 76

TAMARA: I decided to consider a perusal of the blog when I happened upon the picture you chose to post. I allowed myself to contemplate what could possibly be the topic of discussion with an eye-catching, camouflaged man. After reading your post I realized what had really happened.... The picture you posted caught my eye. I wondered what this week's topic was and continued reading. Well done!!

VALERIE: Yes, why is this boy in a tree? Something to do with wordiness... Anyway, we've had a bunch of posts (chapters in MTC) related to this topic. It all boils down to tightening manuscripts.
NEXT WEEK Verbing our nouns!!! Can't wait!


  1. Apparently I have a thing for people behind greenery! (compare my book cover with the photo) Haha!