I Don’t Get It – Noun Phrases

Here’s my newest rant in the Workplace Writing Power Points category. I don’t get why people still use lame noun phrases. So, let me challenge some word use habits, like this one carried over from those 500-word essay days in high school.

Take a simple verb like ‘decide’ – clear, clean, active, two syllables. Then, turn it into a noun phrase like ‘… reach a decision …’. Now, you’re up to three words with five syllables. Then, add ‘… in the process of reaching a decision … ‘ to get six more words, five more syllables and the naive assumption that it sounds more important, sophisticated or professional. It doesn’t. Bad idea.

Contemporary workplace writing wisdom suggests going back to the root verb and staying with it. Verbs are strong action words. Nouns are static things. I do get that! What sounds better to you? Let me know when you reach a decision … ummm, I mean … decide.

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