“Ing” weakening verbs

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Apparently it does. See how stronger the headline would be if you say: Ing weakens verbs. Poynter’s Roy Peter Clark writes in his 51st writing tool “Too Many ‘ings’“:

Let me offer reasons why ‘ing’ might weaken a verb.

1. When I add an ‘ing,’ I add a syllable to the word. This does not happen, in most cases, when I add an ‘s’ or an ‘ed.’ Let’s take the verb “to trick.” First, I’ll add an ‘s,’ giving me ‘tricks’; next, I’ll try an ‘ed,’ giving me ‘tricked.’ Neither move alters the root effect of the verb. But ‘tricking,’ with its extra syllable, seems like a different word.

2. Verbs with ‘ing’ begin to resemble each other. Walking and running and cycling and swimming are all good forms of exercise, but I prefer to point out that Kelly likes to walk, run, cycle, and swim.

Clark’s tips are a great help to writers. I’m midway into it. You can read the writing tools by clicking here.

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