Most of us are inundated daily with too much information. It comes from our email, Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, blogs or text messages. If you’re like me, most of what comes into your computer or mobile device is junk.
I do receive a few nuggets that I want or need to read, I appreciate those writers that use the fewest words to create a clear message. Brevity is a virtue.
I recently read an interesting column from the publisher of PR Daily about circumlocution — the use of many words when one will do.
Here are a few examples:
Rather than using “in advance of,” try the word “before”
“With the exception of” can be adequately replaced by “except”
The thought behind “at this point in time” is more articulately stated using the word “now”
I have a few pet peeves of my own, not all reducing the number, but also the length – or even necessity – of some words.
“On a regular basis” is a long way of writing “regularly”
Why use “approximately” when “about” does the job using eight fewer letters?
Does the word “actually” have any serious value?
If you use Twitter, with its 140-character limit, you understand the need for brevity. Take that same attitude into all of your electronic communications. Your readers will appreciate it.
Do you have a few of your own pet peeves to share?
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