Nouns are not verbs

A noun identifies a person, place, or thing. A verb identifies an action. There is a regrettable tendency to use nouns in place of verbs.

Rule: Use nouns as the subjects and objects of actions.

Example: On 11 January 2007, The Globe and Mail reported the action Montréal’s McGill University took “to avoid a repeat of the damaging hazing incident that rocked the academic institution” in 2006.

What’s wrong: repeat is a verb, but the sentence requires a noun to answer the question, “avoid what?”.

Correct usage: “… to avoid a repetition of the damaging hazing incident …”

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