Nominalizations occur when a verb or adjective is used as a noun although not a real and tangible object. This can include such words as accuracy, superiority, excellence, and destiny.

“People can come to new understandings.” In this example ‘understandings’ is used as a noun and to describe the on-going experience of ‘understanding’ or ‘making sense of something’.

The Milton Model is all about using words in an ‘artfully vague’ way. A nominalization can be a word formed from a process.

For example the verb ‘to restrict’ can be nominalized into the noun ‘restriction’. The word restriction is then treated as if it is a ‘thing’ and the fact that it refers to a ongoing process is forgotten. By using the nominalization the thing is treated as if it is over and done with, when in fact the process may still be going on.

Nouns ending in ‘-ship’, ‘-ment’, ‘-ion’ or ‘-ings’ are often nominalizations, for example ‘relationship’, ‘annulment’, ‘learnings’, ‘decision’. By treating the word as a noun, the fact that you are asking the person to go through a process is hidden.

Your relaxation is increasing as you listen to my voice ‘.
‘By moving your finger your confirm your irrevocable decision.
…you may wonder which part of your achievement you will enjoy most’.

You can test for a nominalization by asking of a noun, ‘could it be put in a bag?‘ Nominalizations are abstractions and have no physical form so cannot be bagged.

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