As I read student work this morning, I find myself urging students to use stronger verbs. "Construct sentences around present-tense action verbs," I write in the margins. Action verbs represent the aspect of "good writing" I spend the most time teaching all the while seeing only a fair amount of change in drafts of papers. I wonder if the action verb plays a lesser role than I imagine in contemporary discourse and the genres, electronic and otherwise, that students encounter on a daily basis. Do lessons on the "action verb" represent an old-school (outmoded), Strunk & White mentality? I ask not because I feel any less affinity for crisp verbs but rather because I get the sense that the written language that fills the days of my students (presumably with lots of "is" and "was") effectively trumps the language I advocate. And perhaps that means these particular lessons may not connect to the realities of the contemporary world. On the other hand, maybe the real world, not me, needs to change.