How to Write With Verbs

Check these displays of conjugative vigor, from today’s New York Times:

1. “Those mailboxes also materialized for Brady, who commanded an offense that capitalizes on nameless, faceless positions — running backs who catch like receivers, tight ends who run like running backs and receivers who do both. Brady completed passes long and short and in between, to Chris Hogan and Rob Gronkowski and Rex Burkhead, gashing the Eagles for 276 yards by halftime and 404 through three quarters. In all, New England shredded Philadelphia for eight plays of at least 20 yards.”

Note, in particular, these verbs:

✔ command

✔ capitalize

✔ gash

✔ shred

And then, a few paragraphs later, we get another verbfest:

2. “Of Brady, he said Sunday night, ‘I respect him, a great player, probably one of the greatest ever, but hey, he had not played the Eagles yet.’ He had not faced the team that choreographed elaborate touchdown celebrations and railed against social injustice and donned goofy dog masks to embrace their underdog status while mocking it. Fulfilling Lurie’s demand for a coach with emotional intelligence, Pederson fomented an inclusive locker-room culture that empowered players to flaunt their personalities.”

Again, note these power verbs:

✔ choreograph

✔ rail

✔ don

✔ foment

✔ empower

✔ flaunt

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