Monday, February 26, 2007


I once read somewhere that eliminating all forms of the verb "to be" can enhance one's writing. This style of writing is called "E-Prime." I tried it for a while, and I guess it did make my writing more assertive by eliminating all passive forms and forcing me to come up with stronger verbs.

Do some copyeditors employ "E-Prime" when writing or editing?

1 comment:

Pat said...

Existence verbs have their place in writing—just as the word thing does.

I don't consciously try to eliminate such verbs; my goal is different: to clarify and, if possible, strengthen the text without overwriting the author's style. Of course, some writers feel that even a moderate amount of copyediting weakens their "voice."