20 phrases you can replace with one word

Circumlocution is so prevalent in today’s corporate writing that we may not even notice it.

In case you’re unfamiliar, circumlocution is the use of many words when one will do. For example, writing “at this point in time” when “now” will work.

As PR Daily publisher Mark Ragan often points out at his seminars, readers have “an incredibly shrinking attention span.” As writers and editors, we need to communicate as clearly and concisely as possible. One way we can do this—avoid circumlocution.

Here are some examples:

Instead of
afford an opportunity allow, let
as a means of to
at this point in time now
due to the fact that because
during the period during
has a requirement for needs
in a timely manner quickly, promptly
in accordance with by, following, per, under
in advance of before
in regard to about, concerning, on
in the amount of for
in the event that if
in the near future shortly, soon
no later than June 1 by June 1
pertaining to about
provides guidance for guides
under the provisions of under
until such time as until
with reference to about
with the exception of except

Readers, any examples of circumlocutory writing that you would like to share?

This article was originally published on Ragan Communication’s PR Daily.


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