|•||Name three techniques to make your writing powerful and precise.|
|•||Cite three reasons for using active rather than passive verbs in writing.|
|•||List and illustrate three appropriate uses of passive verbs.|
|•||Define concrete nouns and abstract nouns.|
|•||Change nouns that are hidden verbs into active verbs.|
Straightforwardness is a hallmark of American English. We like to call a spade a spade, rather than a gardening implement, and we admire people who speak their minds without putting on airs. Direct, unadorned writing has characterized much of American literature, journalism, and letter writing throughout our history, but business writing seems to have escaped this impulse to pare down. What are we to make of this example, a memo written by a bank executive?
A detailed knowledge relative to problem areas and approaches to their solutions has
been accumulated, with the result that advanced activity programming by individuals
in middle and top management positions, and the latter in particular, prior to a pro-
motion situation or their initial assumption of their new responsibilities, is indicated
and in fact recommended.
The writer is recommending that top-level managers do something (it's unclear what) because someone (it's unclear who) has detailed knowledge about rather vague problems and solutions. It took 54 words to confuse readers thoroughly, if they bothered reading at all.