Writing tip: Don't use a long word when a short word will do

Don't use a long word when a short one will do.

That's a short, sweet plain English writing tip in plain English, after I overextended myself in the last blog. (Unsucked: I wrote too much.)

Plainer English is not Nobrainer English. You'll note we offer writing tips, not reinforced concrete writing rules. You do need to think. After all, sometimes a short word won't do, because a long word is clearer. Plenty of mindless cliches are built on Anglo-Saxon 4-letter words, and none the clearer for that.

Unsuck-it.com has a databank of corporate gobbledygook phrases which is constantly being updated. Check it out! You can feed in the yucky jargon that bugs you, and out comes a translation.

But Unsuckit on Twitter is the fun way to browse the latest verbal junk plus a plain English translation. Take a peek. It's genuinely useful and today is Friday—in some countries.

Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine


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