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Towards more picturesque speech

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A doing word. For example, in the phrase “the solicitor butchered the English language,” “butchered” is the verb.

A good way to butcher the language is to convert your verbs to nouns. You can do this easily: take an interesting verb (like butcher), castrate it by adding a duller verb in front of it (like “to subject to”[1].) and then humiliate it by saddling it with an ugly suffix. For example a y, or an ification - upon which act of desecration it will be a noun. This is called nominalisation, and lawyers do it all the time.

The solicitor butchered the English language
The solicitor subjected the English language to butchery.

Extra points are available if you can convert an active noun into the passive at the same time. For this, your best friends are obliged to be applicable.

For bonus points and a shot at the challenging stage, take a verb you have nominalised, and convert it back into a verb again. As a lawyer, you are obligated to action this sort of behaviour from time to time.

Plain English Anatomy™ Noun | Verb | Adjective | Adverb | Preposition | Conjunction | Latin | Germany | Flannel | Legal triplicate | Nominalisation | Murder your darlings


  1. Pendants will delight that the verb “to subject” itself started out life as a noun