Nominalizing nominalizations to nominalize writing


Before reading Lesson 3 in Joseph M. Williams Style, I had never heard the term "nominalize." (Or if I had, I didn't remember.) But after reading the section devoted to clarifying writing by sparingly nominalizing verbs and adjectives, I can definitely say that I'm going to be looking out for them in my future writing.

After reading the several unclear sentences provided by Williams, I thought that they were all twisted up in their creation. And that's exactly what they were: twisted (and what can be considered "wrong"). Either that or extremely formal sounding. The first sentence below is an example provided from Williams. It sounds stuffy and mismatched.

"The agency conducted an investigation into the matter." pg. 34

Crazy huh? Doesn't the next sentence make a lot more sense?

"The agency investigated the matter." pg. 35

So as a special note, use them only when necessary. It's not necessary to throw words together to make ridiculously long sentences that drone on and on in order to sound smart. See? You kinda just come off as a dork.


You mentioned how this crazy nominalization made sentences seem formal. "The agency conducted" reminds me of this because I hear so often that they "conduct" this or that.

This also reminds me of the earlier chapter where Williams discussed how long, convoluted sentences in papers made people think they were stupid when in actuality the papers were just unclear.

I feel, in trying to explain the above, that I made one of those mistakes.

I am guilty of forming example one,type of sentences. God help me!!!!!!!!!!!!

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