As an editor, one of my triggers is phrases of the form "I work for the elimination of ambiguity". I shun them. I prefer to work to eliminate ambiguity. I do so because "it's a fact the whole world knows" that nounifications are harder to understand.

Now I read, in The Economist, that "presenting ... statements in noun form" -- I support the division -- "reduced feelings of anger" compared to the verb form -- I support dividing.

Anger? Well, yes. The thing being divided is Jerusalem, and the people being asked to feel about it are Jewish-Israeli college students. The research The Economist is reporting on was about how people responded to sentences about concessions to and retaliation against Palestinians. The conclusion seems to be that the noun form arouses less anger for conciliation and less support for retaliation, but I can see no attempt to understand why this might be so.

Could it be because the noun form is harder to understand?


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