20 phrases you can replace with one word

Circumlocution is the use of many words when one or two will do. It’s a scourge of corporate writing. Here’s how to avoid it.

Ragan Insider Content

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:

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