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:
|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|
|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?
Laura Hale Brockway is an Austin-based writer and editor. She is also the author of the blog impertinentremarks.com.