What is the consensus on the use of the word "analyzation" in formal writing (ie ...a problem arises in business analyzation...")? One the one hand, some dictionaries, such as Merriam-Webster and Collins, list it as an actual word, although they do not include uses or definitions. On the other hand, it sounds horrendous in use. Am I wrong to advise against its use?
I have never heard that form of the word, and I agree it sounds pretty weird. You may just want to use analysis instead.
According to Google ngrams, "analysis" is over 20,000 times more common than "analyzation", which has only been decreasing in popularity for a number of decades now.
This seems to be a result of a forced attempt to write everything in technical reports using a prescribed style of academic writing. This often results in a nominalization of verbs.
We analyzed the data ... >> The analyzation of the data was conducted...
If you spend 10 minutes reading the returns from a Google Scholar search of the term, it almost seems fashionable. (Would that make it a fashionalization?)
This nominalization habit has been noticed by others -
- Passive voice encourages nominalizations
A major problem with passive is that it makes it easier to use abusive nominalizations. I'll assume you've been through the lesson that discusses nominalizations (lesson 1)...if not, go read that first!
I've read lots of papers with some variation of the phrase "the DNA was then subjected to qPCR analysis" or something like that. I rarely read the active counterpart, "we subjected the DNA to qPCR analysis". Somehow the first (which is even worse than the second) seems acceptable. The main problem with this sentence isn't that it's passive, it's that it has nominalized the action of the sentence into "qPCR analysis." As such, you can fix the problem by fixing the nominalization while retaining the passive: "the DNA was then analyzed using qPCR." Nevertheless, somehow awkward phrases like these seem more abundant in passive sentences.
J Kirkman summarizes this argument fantastically:
If we accept the premise that all scientific papers must be passive and impersonal, inevitably we find ourselves tempted to use these 'carrier verbs'. If we will not write: 'we sampled the ions from the plasma by' 'I removed the coating with alcohol' 'we did not inspect the burners regularly'
we can write in simple passive form: 'the ions from the plasma were sampled by' 'the coating was removed with alcohol' 'the burners were not inspected regularly'.
But it is tempting to take a further step and expand these statements to: 'ion sampling from the plasma was achieved by' 'removal of the coating was effected by the application of alcohol' 'regular inspections of the burners were not carried out'.
In taking this extra step we not only change the verb forms from active to passive, but also introduce colourless 'general purpose' verbs 'carrying' abstract nouns. We no longer sample, remove and inspect; we achieve, effect and carry out. -J Kirkman
This is a serious, serious problem in scientific writing.
protected by user140086 Nov 4 '16 at 17:06
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