Focus on Verbs to Add Power to Your Writing

Ensure that your standard business communications are engaging by selecting active verbs. Verbs—action words—serve as the pivots of sentences. Selecting dynamic verbs adds energy to your writing. The principle of FURY can help you pick targeted and compelling verbs.

"I write the instruction manuals for our appliances," explains Gary, an engineer for an appliance manufacturer. "I find I say the same things over and over again. For example, one sentence might read, 'The dial on the right is for controlling the water temperature.' Boring. Dry. There ought to be a way to add some energy."

Whenever you see a form of the verb to be (e.g., is, are, was, were, be, being, been), consider replacing it with another word. For example, Gary could rewrite the sentence by replacing the word is with controls. The sentence would then read, "The dial on the right controls the water temperature."

If you want to see how else you might express the thought, consider other ways to express the word control. Synonyms for control include direct, guide, set, and govern, among others. Use the FURY model to evaluate your options. In this case, Gary decided to stick with controls. He explained, "I liked guides as a word choice, but I decided that controls is more accurate and powerful. According to the principle of FURY, all the synonyms were familiar. None was unique. I thought govern was rich. But I liked control. It's my favorite, so I went with it."

The difference that a few words and phrases make in the overall tone and character of your writing cannot be overstated. Think about the words you select, avoid clichés, and use the FURY model to guide your choices.

0 0

Post a comment