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  Tips for Writers by Brad Hyde (August 13, 2006)

Use Nouns and Verbs Not Adjectives and Adverbs




"Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs. The adjective hasn't been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place. . . .it is nouns and verbs, not their assistants, that give to good writing its toughness and color." E.B. White from the book, The Elements of Style.

Often, we hope to replace our weakness in the use of verbs and nouns by applying fancy adjectives and adverbs. Think of it this way: if we need to show a person is home late it is better to say, "He snuck in" or "He crept in" or "He tiptoed in" than it is to say "He walked in quietly (sneakily . . .etc.)

If you are interested in a free copy of The Elements of Style here is a text version you can download to your computer. If you prefer, you can obtain the text from



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