Vocabulary: Prefer the direct to circumlocution

in-nuce.com: circumlocution
Ambulatory circumlocution. (Source: Bill Keane, Family Circus)
From The King's English, by Henry Watson Fowler and Francis George Fowler:


Prefer the direct to circumlocution.

Circumlocution, also called periphrasis, is unnecessarily wordy, evasive, or roundabout expression.
As the word case seems to lend itself particularly to abuse, we start with more than one specimen of it in the faulty examples below. The word or phrase which follows in parenthesis is a suggested correction to the sentence.
Inaccuracies were in many cases due to cramped methods of writing.—Cambridge University Reporter. (often)
The handwriting was on the whole good, with a few examples of remarkably fine penmanship in the case both of boys and girls.—Ibid. (by both boys...)
Few candidates showed a thorough knowledge of the text of 1 Kings, and in many cases the answers lacked care.—Ibid. (many answers)
The matter will remain in abeyance until the Bishop has had time to become more fully acquainted with the diocese, and to ascertain which part of the city will be most desirable for residential purposes.—Times. (his residence)
M. Witte is taking active measures for the prompt preparation of material for the study of the question of the execution of the Imperial Ukase dealing with reforms.—Times. (actively collecting all information that may be needed before the Tsar's reform Ukase can be executed)
The Russian Government is at last face to face with the greatest crisis of the war, in the shape of the fact that the Siberian railway is no longer capable...—Spectator. (for) or (:)
Mr. J_____ O_______ has been made the recipient of a silver medal.—Guernsey Advertiser. (received)

Pin It button on image hover