The scope of this topic is so wide that I have to devote more time to explain and point out words or statements that are considered archaic and no longer excites the reading and listening publics. The English purists and masters are equally against the repetitive use of what they see as redundant expressions. The consensus is that they bore the reader and strongly advice the writer, journalist and the reporter to go for something new and current. That way, they can hold down the reader or listener. Better still, rather than stay with over used words and phrases, synonyms are the magic wand in which the writer, whether as a beginner or experience individual, can leverage on to sound fresh and convincing that he or she is well grounded in the English vocabulary beyond the common words and expressions that daily dot the newspaper pages and occupy the airwaves.
As writers, journalists and reporters we can do better by expanding our vocabulary. I am not talking in terms of sounding bombastic or using flowery language to even confuse the reader or listener more. Simple and straight forward sentences should be adhered to, in fact, that is the secret of effective communication. Easy to grasp and assimilate without having to refer to the dictionary in order to understand the message the writer is trying to convey. There are several of these words and expressions that are currently in vogue waiting to be employed by the writer. I will list them just as the purists and masters have adopted them to replace the common ones that are always presenting themselves to be engaged. However, as I noted earlier the list cannot be exhausted within the space available. In that case, as time permits, I shall revisit them at least to remind us of the need to increase our vocabulary and also educate the public on the current trend of the language.
It’s not enough to keep repeating the same word or phrase day in day out. It could be tiring and boring. For example, sample these expressions and see how you can keep them short and simple; ‘arrangements were in the hands of,’ ‘ascertain,’ ‘behind schedule,’ ‘bifurcate/bifurcation,’ ‘carry out the work,’ ‘centre around,’ ‘demise,’ ‘definite decision,’ ‘declared redundant,’ ‘best of health,’ ‘commence,’ and ‘continues to remain,’ as some would write. These rather long and boring expressions can be shortened or abridged. In other words, the simpler the word or expression it makes for better understanding of the subject or idea the person is trying to convey. Short, concise and straight to the point sentences should be preferred, than long winding and complex expressions that could end up confusing the reader or listener.
For the radio and television producer or reporter, brevity or economy of words are never compromised just as long, boring and compound phrases are frowned at. Let’s shorten these sentences or simplify them; ‘arrangements were in the hands of,’ can conveniently be contracted to read ‘arranged by, handled by.’ ‘Behind schedule,’ simply write ‘late.’ Don’t say ‘Mr. Okorie arrived at the venue of the meeting behind schedule.’ Instead, prefers ‘Mr. Okorie arrived at the venue of the meeting late.’ ‘Bifurcate/bifurcation’ is considered as high sounding word that could possibly alienate some people from getting the gist. Plainly write, split in two to ease comprehension. ‘Alice is in the best of health,’ as some people would speak. Instead, prefers ‘Alice is ‘well,’ ‘healthy,’ or ‘sound.’ Similarly, ‘ascertain’ can be simplified to read, ‘learn,’ ‘find out,’ ‘verify’ or ‘study,’ the purists and masters insist if one must sound simple. ‘Declared redundant,’ for an employee who has been sacked or retired. ‘Demise,’ prefers ‘death.’ ‘Commence,’ ‘begin,’ ‘start’ should be preferred. ‘Continues to remain,’ ‘stay,’ ‘constant.’ ‘Centre around,’ ‘centre on/in.’ ‘Carry out the work,’ ‘do the work. ’Definite decision,’ ‘decided.’