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Part II: Use Power Language > Verbs Are Power Words

Chapter 11. Verbs Are Power Words

Napoleon, one of history’s human dynamos, often referred to himself as “un verbe!” Verbs express action (run, jump, yell, point) or a state of being (is, seems, feels) and tell us what is happening. Verbs are, however, frequently disempowered by being put into passive voice or noun form. Use these techniques to empower your words and your writing.

Use active voice. There are over 6,000 languages spoken on planet Earth, and they all have passive voice—because it serves a purpose. It does, however, take longer for the reader to process.

Go for the verb. Verbs can lose power by being turned into nouns, and this is also harder for the reader to process.

Avoid wimp-speak. Be specific about what you want, what you will do, what you expect.


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