Spark, spearhead, scramble, nestle

From Paul Bonner:

I’ve been keeping a list. It seems to me that verbs are the part
of speech that most often become hackneyed in newswriting. I think
it must be to cover up the lack of any concrete action in most stories:

  • spark (as in: “The commissioner’s action sparked a lively
    debate among those who signed up to speak at the meeting.”)
  • spearhead (as in: “Pfalphzer spearheaded the fund-raising
  • ax (as in: “The item was axed from the budget”)
  • tapped (for “chosen,” as in: “Klutzwater was tapped
    for the position.”)
  • scramble (as in: “Officials were left scrambling. …”)
  • nestle (as in: “Nestled between a railroad trestle and
    a gulch, the seedy cafe makes what must surely be its last stand.”)
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