A common problem with corporate writing is that it’s full of lazy, meaningless verbs. Utilize, implement, leverage—these words litter our writing and weaken our message.
“We are leveraging our core competencies to meet our customers needs.”
I stopped reading when I saw the word “leveraging.”
The verb is the powerhouse of your sentence. Choose clear, active verbs instead of throwaway ones. I hereby call for a ban on the following verbs from corporate writing, press releases, social media, and websites. Try these alternatives instead.
|Instead of …||Try …|
|implement||carry out, start|
|leverage||use, take advantage of|
Readers, what verbs would you ban?
Laura Hale Brockway is an Austin-based writer and editor. Read more of her work at Impertinent Remarks. This story first appeared on Ragan.com in May 2012.