Today I learned there's this concept of economy in writing: Use a shorter, simpler word instead of a longer word to express your meaning.

For example:

  • Instead of "utilize", use "use".
  • Obtain > Get.
  • Approximately > About.
  • Call a halt to > Stop.
  • Demonstrate > Show.
  • Acquire > Buy.

Go for the most commonly used words available to you, never use a long word when a short one will do.

There are exceptions to this rule however.

You can use a longer word when you feel the need to break away from repetition.

You can also use a longer word when there's a distinction in meaning between the 2 words.

For example, it's better to write: "I want to show you a ring", instead of "I want to demonstrate you a ring".

Some words can be used interchangeably, but some times they cannot be used interchangeably. Use words that expresses your meaning more clearly.

You should also opt to use less words to express a particular idea or thought:

  • I will take your proposal into consideration > I will consider your proposal.
  • Despite the fact that > even though
  • A large number of > many
  • He has a tendency to > He tends to

Be aware of 2 words written together that have almost the same meaning:

  • The total sum of —Total and sum have the same meaning
  • Unexpected surprise —The nature of a surprise is unexpected.
  • Joint collaboration — All collaborations are joint effort.
  • Future plan — A plan is for the future.
  • A new record — All records are new.