To make your writing shorter and more vigorous, an easy technique is to look for:

  1. weak verbs
  2. words ending with -ed.

Often we write and edit under intense time pressure, so to helps to develop quick writing reflexes.




This week while subbing TV news scripts, I saw two examples.


  1. Locals have expressed concerns  – expressED stands out. First of all, have expressED sounds ‘past’. Also, expressed sounds weak.

It’s much punchier to write: Locals are concerned. Sure, concernED ends with ED -but have expressed concerns ‘suggests’ the stronger ARE concerned.


Locals have expressed concerns

Locals are concerned.

As you can see, the tweak makes the writing shorter AND written in a tense that is happening now.


2. To provide improvED training.


The -ED draws my eye to the words around it – to provide is a weak verb.


It’s much punchier and shorter  to turn

to provide improved training


to improve training


Simple and easy!










One thought on “Broadcast #writing tip: look for weak verbs and -ed words

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