The Dictionary of Concise Writing

By Maeve Maddox

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Serious bloggers understand the importance of concise writing. Unfortunately, great writing tips on brevity are scattered among many resources. Fortunately, a book called The Dictionary of Concise Writing crossed my desk.

Written by Robert Fiske, The Dictionary of Concise Writing is the definitive guide to fat-free writing. This book literally contains its subtitle – more than 10,000 alternatives to wordy phrases.

For example, I wanted to lead this sentence with the phrase “as an example”. Instead I referenced the book and found the alternatives “for example” and “for instance”. Other great entries I use on a daily basis:

  • as a resultconsequently; hence; so; then; therefor; thus
  • past (previous; prior) experienceexperience
  • is inclined to think (that)asserts; believes; claims; contends; feels; holds; maintains; says; thinks

Each time you reference the book, you are training yourself to recognize wordy or redundant phrases. Definitely a good exercise!

You can find the book on

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9 Responses to “The Dictionary of Concise Writing”

  • Daniel

    It goes on my Amazon wishlist 🙂 .

  • Paul

    Fiske also offers alternatives to “the fact that,” a prolix phrase that should be cut from every sentence in which it appears.

  • Roshawn

    Great examples, Max.

    Nice find with the book. I’ll have to get it.

  • forum man

    great post

  • Gayatri Reddy

    An excellent site.I just loved it , the moment I saw it.Great work Guys! can’t stop raving about your site.
    There is just so much and so beautifully presesnted.Keep up the good work people!

  • farhat

    thanks and great thing that you have shared your experience of the book.
    keep us posted.

  • Mari

    Concise writing is difficult for me, but I’m getting there. I hope. LOL

  • Lauren

    Mmm… I want this!

  • Prashant Ahire

    Thank you for suggesting the book. I will try to get it in India.

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