This is one of the New York Times writing rules.I don’t know exactly what “zombie nouns” and verbs mean here. Can someone give some examples?
Rule 6: Write With Non-Zombie Nouns and Verbs
Delve into Strunk and White’s fourth style reminder “Write with nouns and verbs” by reading about what Helen Sword calls “Zombie Nouns”:
Nouns formed from other parts of speech are called nominalizations. Academics love them; so do lawyers, bureaucrats and business writers. I call them “zombie nouns” because they cannibalize active verbs, suck the lifeblood from adjectives and substitute abstract entities for human beings.
Fight those nasty zombie nouns with vivacious verbs.
The New York Times article from which you quoted offers several examples and a definition:
Take an adjective (implacable) or a verb (calibrate) or even another noun (crony) and add a suffix like ity, tion or ism. You’ve created a new noun: implacability, calibration, cronyism. Sounds impressive, right?
What the writer is saying is that these so-called “zombie nouns” are overcomplicated and take away from language (in the writer’s opinion). They specifically focus on the fact that they take away from verb usage. Another example from that article:
Zombie nouns do their worst damage when they gather in jargon-generating packs and infect every noun, verb and adjective in sight: globe becomes global becomes globalize becomes globalization. The grandfather of all nominalizations, antidisestablishmentarianism, potentially contains at least two verbs, three adjectives and six other nouns.