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How to bust ghost verbs.


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Ghost verbs invade business, academic and government writing to obscure meaning and waste words. We bust them!

Published in: Education, Travel
  • Our copy-editing software catches all these 'ghost verbs' - properly described as nominalisations. I call them hidden verbs as they hide the verb in the noun form and under unnecessary words. Run StyleWriter's free trial software through your writing and see how many ghost or hidden verbs are in your writing. It will also check for thousands of other style faults as well. Nick Wright – Designer of StyleWriter - the plain English editor Editor Software Trial and demos at
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How to bust ghost verbs.

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  2. 2. ‘Discussion’ is a ghostly form of the verb ‘discuss’. So, if I said: ‘We will hold a discussion on it soon’, you’d have to do some thinking. Why? Because ‘hold’ means nothing, so you flip to ‘discussion’ and change it to the living verb ‘discuss’ for sentence meaning. What a waste of time! ‘We will discuss it soon’ is what I should have said. That is the most efficient way: fewer words and quicker meaning.
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