Why use ten words when two will do? We don’t want to tire the reader.

The long way:

He spends his spare time skinning animals and making replicas of them by stretching their hides over a frame.

The more sensible way:

His hobby is taxidermy.

Instead of:

He got out the game board with the black and white squares.

Just say:

He got out the checkerboard.

Instead of:

Could you please hand me one of those small rods for stirring the drinks?

Just say:

Could you pass me a swizzle stick?

If you know what you are trying to say, why give the long-winded definition of it? Just use the word.


In terms of organization it was a shambles, but in terms of program content it was good.

Less wordy:

The organization was a shambles but the program content was good.

In many cases, there is no need for “in terms of.”


He is the person who is in charge of the meeting.

Less wordy:

He is in charge of the meeting.

No need for “the person who.”

Sometimes a word can replace a whole phrase:

She had a reservation for the ferry that goes from Comox to Powell River.

She had a reservation for the Comox – Powell River ferry.

*** Keep in mind that more is not always better, especially with words.



8 thoughts on “Jargon

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