I’m reading a book, “Revising Prose” by Richard A. Lanham, in which he writes about the imbalance of nouns and verbs in the Official Style, a formal language used to sound more professional.

He writes:

...they all build on the same imbalance: a dominance of nouns and an atrophy of verbs. They enshrine the triumph, worshipped in every bureaucracy, of stasis over action.

The verb "is" takes the stage in the book as a commonly used part of speech, rather than active verbs. Read the following sentence for example:

This sentence is in need of an active verb.

As opposed to the more active:

This sentence needs an active verb.

Similarly, "Killing it" has littered our communication as a lazy cover-all for doing something well. It does have some impact, but the punch is lost with frequent use, so I’ve decided to provide some alternatives.


  • Impressive
  • Astonishing
  • Beautiful
  • Breathtaking
  • Magnificent
  • Stunning
  • Wonderful
  • Moving
  • Mind-blowing
  • Fascinating
  • Marvelous
  • Prodigious
  • Fantastic
  • Tremendous
  • Monumental
  • Stupendous
  • Inordinate
  • Unbelievable
  • Remarkable
  • Solid

I’ll stop there, but the list could go on and on.


  • Presentation
  • Product
  • Layout
  • Design
  • Work
  • Skills
  • Talent
  • Person
  • Speaker
  • Conversation


  • Impressive presentation
  • Astonishing product
  • Beautiful layout
  • Breathtaking design
  • Magnificent work
  • Stunning skills
  • Mind-blowing talent
  • Marvelous person
  • Prodigious speaker
  • Remarkable conversation

Compare any of those combinations to "killing it" and you may discover they more accurately express your thoughts.