Why are camouflaged verbs bad for business communication?

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Domenick Franecki eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Camouflaged verbs are verbs that have been unnecessarily turned into nouns by adding suffixes, such as "-ion," "-ing," "-ment," or another ending. Some examples include "Cancellation of the game is necessary at this time" or "Signing the agreement was an important step for both nations."

One reason that camouflaged verbs are poor choices in business communication is that they interfere with the clarity of the sentence. Business communication should be easy to read so that people can digest it quickly and efficiently. By using camouflaged verbs, the writer slows down the sentence and makes it harder to understand. In addition, camouflaged verbs often obscure who is carrying out the action in a sentence. For example, in the sentence, "Cancellation of the game is necessary at this time," it is not clear who is responsible for cancelling the game. A better written sentence would express who has taken this action—such as "The referee has cancelled the game because the team did not have enough players."

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Dayna Watsica eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This is a good question. Let me start with the definition of a camouflaged verb. A camouflaged verb is a verb that has been made into a noun by adding a noun ending, such as "-ion." Another name for this process in linguistics is called nominalization.

Let me give you a two examples:

  • We are in anticipation for good results in view of the talented players on the team.
  • Could be: We anticipate a good result in view of the talented players on the team.
  • We are in the process of fabrication of clothing in a factory.
  • Could be: We fabricate the clothing in a factory.

The first sentences are an example of camouflaged verbs. The second sentences simply use verbs.

In light of these examples, it is clear why camouflaged words are never good for business communication. It is long-winded way of speaking and writing. At times it is not very clear. Effective business communication demands a simple subject/verb/object pattern.

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