By Toby Brener
Do your sentences suffer from “wordy phrase-itis”? These phrases pad your sentences with extra words. They increase the reading grade level. And they can make your writing sound stuffy.
• We are not accepting applications at this point in time.
• A large proportion of people don’t get enough exercise.
• We created this new product in an effort to increase sales.
Look what happens when you swap those wordy phrases with one-word alternatives:
• We are not accepting applications now.
• Many people don’t get enough exercise.
• We created this new product to increase sales.
The result? Crisp, concise and clear writing.
Try it the next time you write something. It’s fun. And it’s easy. Here’s a list you can use to guide you.
|Instead of||Use this|
|On the grounds that; as a result of; due to the fact that; in light of the fact that; by virtue of the fact that||Because|
|In order to; in an effort to; as a means to; for the purpose of||To|
|In connection with; concerning the matter of; with reference to; in regards to About||About|
|In accordance with||According to|
|Adequate number of; sufficient number of||Enough|
|In spite of (the fact that)||Although; despite|
|At this point in time; at the present time; at present||Now|
|In the event that; in the event of; assuming that; provided that||If|
|In advance of; prior to||Before|
|At a later date||Later|
|At all times||Always|
|By means of||By|
|In lieu of||Instead of|
|Make use of||Use|
|For the duration of||During; throughout|
|At the time that||When|
|A greater degree of; a greater proportion of||More|
|A majority of||Most|
|A large proportion of||Many|
About the Author: Toby H. Brener is a writer, editor and website manager at Aetna.