Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Etymology Today from M-W: verbose\ver-BOHSS\
1 : containing more words than necessary : wordy; also : impaired by wordiness
2 : given to wordiness

There's no shortage of words to describe wordiness in English. "Diffuse," "long-winded," "prolix," "redundant," "windy," "repetitive," "loose," "rambling," "digressive," and "circumlocutory" are some that come to mind. Want to express the opposite idea? Try "succinct," "concise," "brief," "short," "summary," "terse," "precise," "compact," "lean," "tight," or "compendious." "Verbose," which falls solidly into the first camp of words, comes from Latin "verbosus," from "verbum," meaning "word." Other descendants of "verbum" include "verb," "adverb," "proverb," "verbal," "verbatim," and "verbicide" (that's the deliberate distortion of the sense of a word).

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