The Word Doctor: Use Punchy Verbs

A simple verb does its job—but not necessarily enthusiastically.

“The can ran across the floor and ran into the pillow.”

Sometimes writers, in search of excitement, will spread modifiers throughout their sentence, like this:

“The can ran swiftly across the wood floor and ran head-first into the pillow.”

Snooze worthy. But punchier verbs work even better.

“The cat sprinted across the floor and collided with the pillow.”

See the difference? A strong verb has a way of including modifier-like qualities without adding more words.

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