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.

 

ws-computer

 

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

into

to improve training

 

Simple and easy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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