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Little Writing Trick #1 – “Release the Verb”

release the verb

When you want to make your writing more:

1. active and vigorous

2. concise

3. “on-line friendly”

try this simple, “little writing trick” – release the verb.

Many professionals – especially lawyers and engineers write in a  longer and more passive style.

  • make a recommendation
  • have a discussion
  • reach a conclusion
  • have a disagreement
  • make a settlement in the dispute
  • assist the development and implementation of strategic goals

weaker verbs  + nouns + lots of extra “little” words (including articles and prepositions)

When you release the verb, you look for the verb inside the longer nouns – (see below: in bold)

  • make a recommendation
  • have a discussion
  • reach a conclude sion
  • have a disagreement
  • make a settlement in the dispute
  • assist the development and implementation of strategic goals
Tony Biancotti - positive, persuasive messages

Tony Biancotti – Better Business Writing

When I help professionals improve their writing I encourage them to:

“SHUN THE SHON (-ion words) ”

Repeat after me:  SHUN THE SHON!

Words ending in -ion are often nouns with verbs trapped inside – just begging to be released!

Try releasing the verb with your writing. Circle the -ion words (and often the -ment words) and release the verb!

When you release the verbs you also get rid of the weaker verbs and excess words such as articles and prepositions.

assist the development and implementation of strategic goals

can be reduced to:

develop and implement strategic goals

Sometimes you want the extra words of the passive and detached style.

In a future post I’ll share the benefits of nouns over verbs.

The shorter, second version “sounds” more confident and dynamic – in a speech or even when read.

When you write for on-line (especially for  small screens of the “phone-ternet” – a Chris Brogan term) – the shorter, more “conversational” style is better.

So now you know what to do – go release those verbs!

And if you think the writers in your organisation can benefit from more dynamic and concise writing – contact me and we can have a discussion about how to make an improvement in your business writing .

Make that:  We can discuss how to improve your business writing!



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I blog about fun pop culture stuff as well as more serious  business communication tips.

I’ve disciplined my self to check ALL my different communication platforms twice a day – as part of my Check-in Ritual.


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6 comments on “Little Writing Trick #1 – “Release the Verb”

  1. Pingback: Little Writing Trick #3 – use visual language | efangelist

  2. Pingback: Little Writing Trick #4 – use the power of parallel structure | efangelist

  3. Pingback: How “The Christmas Song” will help you improve your writing | efangelist

  4. Pingback: Why Christmas vacation time is great for blogging and writing. | efangelist

  5. Pingback: Christmas Vacation Writing Tips: What “Margaritaville” has in common with “The Christmas Song” – chestnuts roasting and shrimp boiling | efangelist

  6. advance marbella
    June 18, 2018

    Hello, yes this piece of writing is in fact nice and I have learned lot of things
    from it about blogging. thanks.

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