Monday, May 12, 2008

More on nouns that want to be verbs

An able commenter has pointed out that converting to a verb form is not the only way to avoid nominalizations:
Sometimes the best alternative to an abstract noun isn't a verb but an adjective. For example, is liable instead of has liability.

And an additional drawback to buried verbs is that like the passive voice, they allow the writer to omit the actor. If you say on transfer to Jones, it's not clear who's doing the transferring. That's why buried verbs are particularly problematic in contract drafting. You don't have that problem if you use a verb: if Acme transfers to Jones.
Good points both.

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