@$%!# happens (and by @$%!#, we mean jargon)

Ever heard the expression, “nominalization happens”? Neither have I, but nearly every writer who has churned out copy on a deadline has witnessed nominalization happen before her or his very pupils.

According to Steven Pinker, “nominalization takes a perfectly spry verb and embalms it into a lifeless noun by adding a suffix like -ance, -ment, -ation or -ing.”

We write “the flipping of a coin resulted in the determination of who would make the first selection” instead of “they flipped a coin to determine who would select first.”  

It’s an invasion by the clarity-sucking villain our Page 17 Writing Mentorships have named Jargonoid. Let’s achieve its stoppage. Better yet, let’s stop it.