101 Wordy Phrases by Robert Hartwell Fiske
This is a Vocabula Book. 101 Wordy Phrases A Vocabula 101 Series Handbook
Vocabula 101 Series Handbooks are slim volumes replete with sound advice on how to use the English language well.
This handy reference includes some ludicrous, though much used, examples of wordiness. Sentence examples illustrate how wordy phrases can be made more concise.
101 Wordy Phrases encourages you to speak and write more concisely and clearly.
Think critically: read a Vocabula Book.
From the Introduction:
Inadequate though they may be, words distinguish us from all other living things. Only we humans can reflect on the past and plan for the future; it is language that allows us to do so. Indeed, our worth is partly in our words. Effective use of language clear writing and speaking is a measure of our humanness.
When they do their work best, words help people communicate; they promote understanding between people. And this, being well understood, is precisely the goal we should all aspire to when writing and speaking. As obvious as this seems, it is not a goal we commonly achieve.
Words often ill serve their purpose. When they do their work badly, words militate against us. Poor grammar, sloppy syntax, abused words, misspelled words, and other infelicities of style impede communication and advance only misunderstanding. But there is another, perhaps less well-known, obstacle to effective communication: too many words.
We often believe that many words are better than few. Perhaps we imagine that the more we say, the more we know or the more others will think we know, or that the more obscure our writing is, the more profound our thoughts are. Seldom, of course, is this so. Wordiness is arguably the biggest obstacle to clear writing and speaking. But it is also more than that.
Wordiness is an obstacle to success. Almost all professional people know that success in business partly depends on good communications skills, on writing and speaking clearly and persuasively. Businesspeople who cannot express themselves well are often at a disadvantage in the corporate world.
Wordiness is an obstacle to companionship. Few of us enjoy being with someone who speaks incessantly or incoherently. Wordiness in others may make us impatient; it may annoy us, and we may think it rude. Worse than that, when we have difficulty understanding someone, sooner or later we may not care what it is that he tries to convey. We lose interest in what a person says and, ultimately, in who a person is.
Wordiness is an obstacle to self-knowledge. A superfluity of words conceals more than it reveals. We need time to be silent and still, time to reflect on the past and think about the future; without it, no one is knowable.
Wordiness is an obstacle to these goals and others. Whatever your profession, whatever your personality, wordiness is a condition for which we all should seek a cure.
About the Author: Robert Hartwell Fiske
A Vocabula 101 Series HandbookTM
5" by 7" trim
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