Definition of Wordiness
“Wordiness is the habit of using more words than necessary to express one’s meaning. It makes writing appear inflated, pompous, and confusing. When one uses too many wordy constructions, it becomes difficult for readers to sift through all the words and understand the author’s meaning. In academic writing, then, avoiding wordiness is essential to ensure that your meaning is correctly conveyed.”
Native Eigo-juku Vol. 1
By Center for Research Writing Resources
Wordiness in other parts of speech
- adverb: wordily
- adjective: wordy, wordier (comparative), wordiest (superlative)
catalogic, circumlocution, diffuseness, diffusion, fecundity, garrulity, logorrhea, long-windedness, loquaciousness, loquacity, macrology, officialese, periphrasis, pleonasm, prolixity, redundancy, tautology, verbality, verbiage, verbigeration, verbomania, verboseness, verbosity, windiness, wordage
conciseness, directness, straightforwardness, terseness
The word “wordiness” used in writing
Dictionary of Concise Writing
Wordiness is arguably the biggest obstacle to clear writing and speaking. But it is also more than that.
- Wordiness is an obstacle to success. Almost all professional people know that success in business partly depends on good communications skills, on writing and speaking clearly and persuasively. Business people who cannot express themselves well are often at a disadvantage in the corporate world.
- Wordiness is an obstacle to companionship. Few of us enjoy being with someone who speaks incessantly or incoherently. Wordiness in others may make us impatient; it may annoy us, and we may think it rude. Worse than that, when we have difficulty understanding someone, sooner or later we may not care what it is that he tries to convey. We lose interest in what a person says and, ultimately, in who a person is.
- 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.
Wordiness is an obstacle to these goals and others. Whatever your profession, whatever your personality, wordiness is a condition for which we all should seek a cure.
The Dictionary of Concise Writing: More Than 10,000 Alternatives to Wordy Phrases
By Robert Hartwell Fiske
Comics through Time
“The strip follows a two-by-two, four-panel square format, and Barry is well known for her ability to capture childhood, as well as for her wordiness and her style. While some critics criticize Barry’s draftsmanship, others praise her rendering as reflective of her interest in children.”
A Sensible Match
Had the observers been listening to Abby, her range of opinions and lack of common sense might have astounded them. In fact no one would have recognized the chatterbox that danced so lightly with Lord Chappel.
Abby had a part to play and she did it well. A few times her sense of humor almost overset her, but she needed only to find her mother’s indulgent smirk to resolutely rattle on until she felt almost as tired of her wordiness as he could ever be. Imagine fifty years of wedded bliss to my conversation.
By Teryl Cartwright
Being concise means making every word count without leaving out important facts. Avoid wordiness; length alone does not ensure quality. Some reports can be written in half a page; others require 12 or even 20 pages. No specific length can be prescribed, but strive to include all relevant information in as few words as possible.
You can reduce wordiness in two basic ways: (1) Leave out unnecessary information and (2) use as few words as possible to record the necessary facts. For example, do not write, “Th e car was blue in color”; write “Th e car was blue.” A phrase such as “information that is of a confidential nature” should be recognized as a wordy way of saying “confidential information.”
By Christine Hess Orthmann