"Epic fail": The nominalization trend

Henry Hitchings turned out a superb and insightful article in the Sunday New York Times, "Those Irritating Verbs-as-Nouns," on the nominalizations that are terrorizing the English language. These cannibalized active nouns seem to have become particularly popular among business writers and bureaucrats alike, as they seem to strive to simultaneously express complex ideas and create abstraction.

The article really struck a chord with me, as I find myself constantly denominalizing during translation. Romance Languages have a penchant for employing punchy abstract nominalizations when a vigorous verb is readily available (for example, globalization in place of globalize). Moreover, Romance Languages have an affinity for jargon-generating strings of infected nouns (see antidisestablishmentarianism). 

The take-away:--while I can offer no condemnation of the nominalizations that have that have stricken a plague on the written word--the solve here is the resolve to use aesthetic reasonableness to create richer, more concrete verse.

In the meantime, check out The Writer's Diet Test and diagnose your prose!