RE: Concision?

Subject: RE: Concision?
From: "Pinkham, Jim" <Jim -dot- Pinkham -at- voith -dot- com>
To: "Odile Sullivan-Tarazi" <odile -at- mindspring -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2008 11:01:56 -0500

I'm sure they do. I'm chuckling now a bit that you're taking this so
seriously. No offense.

Sorry, but when I read concision, the next word that came to mind was
"circumcision," and there, perhaps, I'd go for the Latin formation and
avoid some blunter Anglo-Saxon alternative, if such there be.

But, generally, I agree with Orwell: Use words that convey images. Keep
it simple and direct. Use the good, crisp, clear Anglo-Saxon words.
Don't seek concision. Be concise. Better yet, be brief. Terse. Pithy.


"If thou wouldst be pungent, be brief. For it is with words as with
sunbeams: the more they are condensed, the more they burn." -- Robert

-----Original Message-----
From: Odile Sullivan-Tarazi [mailto:odile -at- mindspring -dot- com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 10:45 AM
To: Pinkham, Jim
Cc: Cardimon, Craig; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Concision?

But why? It is not archaic. Its meaning in the sense of a cutting up
or off is archaic. Its meaning as the quality or state of being concise
is not. And in AH, the order of those two entries is
reversed: concision as the quality or state of being concise is listed

The second book I cited, _Style: Toward Clarity and Grace_, is put out
by the University of Chicago Press as part of their guide to writing,
editing, and publishing series. These guys know a little something
about word choice.


At 9:57 AM -0500 10/29/08, Pinkham, Jim wrote:
>I think the New Oxford Guide editors should go back to Orwell's
>"Politics and the English Language" and dispense with words such as
>"concision" altogether. But I have no wish to start a dictionary or
>style skirmish. This was, as I said, just a good-natured tweak.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Odile Sullivan-Tarazi [mailto:odile -at- mindspring -dot- com]
>Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 9:46 AM
>To: Pinkham, Jim
>Cc: Cardimon, Craig; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>Subject: Re: Concision?
>No, I think he meant "concision," a more precise (and concise) word
>than "conciseness."
>See, for instance, _The New Oxford Guide to Writing_ or _Style:
>Toward Clarity and Grace, the latter of which devotes an entire chapter

>to concision.
>At 8:40 AM -0500 10/29/08, Pinkham, Jim wrote:
>>"Concision," huh? I thought you meant "conciseness," and I had to go
>>look the two up.
>>Merriam-Webster dates "concision" back to the 14th century, but its
>>first listed rendering is archaic, "a cutting up or off," and then the

>>second rendering, of indeterminate origin, gets at conciseness.
>>"Conciseness," on the other hand, dates to around 1590 and has the
>>definition I suspect you meant: "marked by brevity of expression or
>>So accurate, brief, clear -- that's what we value. Hmm...and someone
>>just suggested law?? :)
>>OK, enough tweaking...back to work.
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: techwr-l-bounces+jim -dot- pinkham=voith -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>>[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+jim -dot- pinkham=voith -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On
>>Behalf Of Cardimon, Craig
>>Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 8:15 AM
>>To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
>>Subject: RE: Career transition away from tech writing
>>> I'm thinking about leaving the field of technical writing and I'm
>>> interested in learning about the jobs other technical writers have
>>> transitioned to. Project management, training, and user experience
>>> to be the more common transitions, but are there other areas you
>>> have ventured into?
>>> Thank you.
>>I would bet this comes up more often than one might think. How about
>>field that values concision, clarity, and precision. To these I add
>>attention to detail and the ability to organize one's thoughts.


ComponentOne Doc-To-Help 2009 is your all-in-one authoring and publishing
solution. Author in Doc-To-Help's XML-based editor, Microsoft Word or
HTML and publish to the Web, Help systems or printed manuals.

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control!

You are currently subscribed to TECHWR-L as archive -at- web -dot- techwr-l -dot- com -dot-

To unsubscribe send a blank email to
techwr-l-unsubscribe -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
or visit

To subscribe, send a blank email to techwr-l-join -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com

Send administrative questions to admin -at- techwr-l -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Please move off-topic discussions to the Chat list, at:


RE: Career transition away from tech writing: From: Cardimon, Craig
Concision?: From: Pinkham, Jim
Re: Concision?: From: Odile Sullivan-Tarazi
RE: Concision?: From: Pinkham, Jim
RE: Concision?: From: Odile Sullivan-Tarazi

Previous by Author: RE: Concision?
Next by Author: RE: Concision?
Previous by Thread: RE: Concision?
Next by Thread: RE: Concision?

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads