Action vs. Stasis • Verb Style: I came. I saw. I conquered. • There is action taking place here. “I” engaged in three specific actions. • Based on action • Noun Style: Arrival; Reconnaissance; Victory. • There is no specific action taking place, just the communication of three ideas.
The Noun Style • Action “disappears” into the nouns—no real action takes place • “The emergence of modern drama” (noun style) vs. “Modern drama emerged” (verb style) • Is often wordy • “to be” verb + prepositional phrase • Tends to be a written style, not a spoken one • Typical of “common” prose
The Noun Style • The emergence of modern drama from religious ritual by way of Miracle plays and Moralities is not simply a fact of inconsequential chronology. • The sentence rewritten in the verb style: • Modern drama did not emerge from religious ritual accidentally.