Verbs are the go

Beverly Walker (
23 Mar 1998 09:16:58 +1000

Dear Bob et al,
Can i endorse verbs too and strongly recommend Spence's article in the book from
the Townsville conference. But verbs per se aren't the answer. One of the
influences on Kelly's work was Korzybski, who wrote, among other things, about a
form of language known as e-prime in which the verb 'to be' is eliminated. the
result is a language that is invitational, rather than emphatically concrete.
One of the (many) things that is very interesting about Spence's paper is that
it is written in e-prime.

I've had students write descriptions of others that they like or dislike,
underline the and then get them to re-write them in e-prime and explore the
result. I've suggested they might like to do this with self-characterisations,
though haven't insisted, as well and wonder at this being a useful technique in

The book, to save more emails, is Personal Construct theory: A psychology for
the future. It is reasonably priced and the Fax no for enquiries is 61 3 9663
6177. It is printed by the Australian Psychological Society, Melbourne, 1996.