[Pika!] The being verbs

One of my English teachers in high school detested the passive voice. With good reason, I believe, for this voice divorces subject from his/her action, adds the unnecessary being verb, and flattens the writing. And so, when I constructed my writing in high school, the passive voice and the being verbs filled my consciousness. I hated them, for they seemed useless, trite, and unimaginative. I couldn’t think of a greater transgression than saturating a paper with “am” and “was” and “were.”

But then, I consumed more and more excellent pieces of writing that contained….being verbs. How could “IS” appear in these golden works? This spawned an identity crisis for the writer, forcing me to confront the value of these verbs. After many months of considering a writer’s relationship to them, the verbs and I now co-exist. Employing “to be” is a difficult task, a delicate balance, a purposeful undertaking. It can work well, interjecting an air of truth and simplicity to the writing. And I have found clarity and liberation from realizing that sometimes things are. Not everything embodies or conveys or exhibits or suggests. And now, I may love them. I refuse to write gluttonously with them, but I love them nonetheless.

So I wonder, has anyone else experienced this with the being verbs?

2 thoughts to “[Pika!] The being verbs”

  1. Erica, you’re on quite the blogging spree! To answer your question, no I have not thought as actively about different types of verbs as you have. 🙂 Yet, I can tell that you’re a big fan of grammar, which is really awesome and seems to be overlooked by many. Typically, I try to steer clear of using “to be” just because I find that one can often use a better phrase.

  2. I have never really thought about being verbs, but I had trouble with using the passive voice too much in my freshmen year of college. Luckily I had an excellent FYWR professor who pointed it out to me and helped me fix it.

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