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Dictionary of Concise Writing

by Robert Hartwell Fiske

This new version includes:

  • new contents
  • a larger screen and bigger fonts
  • better navigation
  • a quick index for the dictionary
  • a drop-down quick jump on each page of the dictionary
  • a master index from which you can jump to any part of the ebook
  • better and faster search function
  • the pages can be printed
  • an integrated text editor to take notes, the reader can select portion or all the text and copy/paste in the text editor
  • a help file
  • a bookmark function on exit to Windows

Academic and professional writers have praised Robert Fiske for his insight on the English language. Dictionary of Concise Writing is an excellent companion to any writer.

I would unhesitatingly recommend Robert Fiske's Dictionary of Concise Writing to my students. This is just the sort of book by which they, along with anyone else who uses the English language, can immeasurably profit. What's more, the book's opening chapters are a delight to read.
Professor Betty J Ruth, Boston University

In replacing a wordy phrase by one less wordy or by a single word or in deleting the phrase altogether, I have tried to show how wordiness can encumber clarity and that it can be corrected. The sentence examples have been edited only to remedy the wordiness diagnosed; rarely are they syntactically and stylistically indefectible.

I don't claim that the entries I've compiled are unfailingly inferior to the alternatives I suggest. All the alternatives are merely proposed; they are not inarguable. In your own writing, you may at times find that an alternative suggested here, though less wordy, does not work so well. Finally, as sole author of this book, I am solely accountable for any errors or, if I may be so charitable, oversights that these pages may hold. Although I have tried to be as thorough as possible and to include as many entries, and alternatives to them, as time would allow, I don't doubt that I have overlooked some. Anyone who finds an error or omission is welcome to share his discovery with me, and in a revised edition, I will gladly include any correction.

Editorial Review By Marie Finch (
Wordiness is an obstacle to self-knowledge. A superfluity of words conceals more than it reveals. We need time to be silent and still, time to reflect on the past and think about the future; without it, no one is knowable.
The Dictionary of Concise Writing is the ultimate guidebook to clarity. This engaging reference guide combats the popular belief that many words are better than few. Poor grammar, sloppy syntax, abused words and other infelicities of style impede communication and advance only misunderstanding. Wordiness is everywhere, and it affects many English-speaking writers today.
Inadequate though they may be, words distinguished us from all other living things. Only we humans can reflect on the past and plan for the future; it is language that allows us to do so. Indeed, our worth is partly in words. Effective use of language-clear writing and speaking-is a measure of our humanness.

This navigable book for your PC consists of two parts. The first is entitled "The Perfectibility of Words & The Imperfectibility of People." includes:

  • The Perfectibility of Words - Of Polish and Panache
  • The Perfectibility of Words - Clues to Concision
  • The Imperfectibility of People - Business Jargon
  • The Imperfectibility of People - Legalese
  • The Imperfectibility of People - Political Cant
  • The Imperfectibility of People - Journalese
  • The Imperfectibility of People - Academicspeak

In this section, the author takes an enlightening look at word usage in popular culture. He also suggests how to identify and correct wordiness. The second section, "The Dictionary of Concision," is a complete manual of several thousand wordy phrases. Entries are followed by concise alternative expressions and real-world examples.

About Robert Hartwell Fiske: author of The Dimwit's Dictionary or the Thesaurus of Worn-Out Words and Phrases, owns Vocabula Communications Company, a writing and editing service in Andover, Massachusetts. Founded in 1986, Vocabula offers business and technical writing, creative writing, copyediting, developmental editing, proofreading, literary criticism, and the like.

© 1998-2005

Ebook Cover
  • Version 2003
  • Date: 03/2003
  • File Size: 3080kb
  • Win 98/XP/2000
  • SVGA 800x600x16M, 32Mb RAM, IE 4.x or better
  • Install and Uninstall

By the same author:
Dimwit's Dictionary