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King County Editorial Style Manual

abbreviations, capitalization, grammar, numbers, punctuation, spelling, word usage

Guide to concise writing: wordy phrase replacements

Try using these simpler, concise alternatives to wordy, bureaucratic phrases. Also see Using appropriate words in the County's Plain-language writing guide.

Avoid these ...

Try these instead ...

According to our records ... We find ...
adequate number of enough
adjacent to beside, by, close to, near, next to
afford an opportunity allow, give, let
ahead of schedule early
a large proportion of many, most, much (or be specific)
all of all (unless followed by a pronoun)
almost all most
along the lines of like, similar, similar to
already exist drop already
an estimated about, almost, more than, nearly
are in possession of has, have, owns, with
arrange to return return
as a matter of fact ... Usually unneeded. Leave out.
as a result of because, because of, since
as long as if, since
as of now; as of [date] about; from, on
As per [our records] ... Our records show ...
as regards about
assuming that if
as to about, of, on, to (or leave out)
as well as also, and
at all times always (or leave out)
at an early date soon (or a specific date)
attached herewith is here are, here's, with this (or leave out)
at the end of after
at the present time, at this point in time, at this time now, today (be specific or leave out)
at the time when (or be specific)
bring to a conclusion conclude or assume, close, decide, end, finish, infer, settle
by means of by, using, with

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center around at, in, on, revolve around
come to an agreement agree
comply with follow, obey
conduct an investigation investigate or examine, explore, find out, look into, research, search, study
conduct experiments experiment
consensus of opinion, general consensus agreement, consensus
contiguous to adjoining, next to, touching
course of at, during, in, while
desirous of use a form of want (or leave out)
despite the fact that although, despite, even though
draw to your attention point out, remind you of, show, show you
due to the fact that as, because, because of, for, since
during such time, during the course of, during the time during, when, while

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effect many changes change
except when unless
excessive number of too many
extend an invitation invite
for the purpose of for, of, to
for the reason that because, for, since
for the sum of for
give and take compromise, concession, discussion, exchange
give an indication of hint, show, signal, suggest
give consideration to consider
has no lacks
has the capability can
have an effect on affect
hold a conference, hold a meeting confer, meet

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in addition also
in addition to also, and, as well as, besides, beyond
in advance of before, by (or be specific)
in a timely manner at once, on time, quickly
in an effort to to
in conjunction with and, with
in connection with about, in, of, on, over, with
in lieu of for, instead of
in most cases, in most instances mostly, most of these, often, usually
in order to to
in place of for
in (the) possession of has, have
in reference to about, for, on
in regard to; in relation to about, for, on; about, in, on, to, toward, with
in respect of about, for, of
in spite of (the fact that) although, despite
in terms of about, at, by, for, in, with
in the amount of for, of, the
in the context of about, for, in, of
in the course of at, during, in, while
in the event that if, when (not if and when)
in the (very near) (not too distant) future soon
in the vicinity of about, around, close to, in, near, round
in this day and age nowadays, today
in view of the fact because, since
it would appear that apparently, clearly, obviously, plainly, seemingly
it is probable that probably
limited number few
located in, located on in, on, found
made a statement said
make a decision, make a determination control, decide, discover, find out, end, fix, settle
make an application apply
make an examination of examine
make reference to refer to
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none at all none
not in a position to cannot, can't, unable to
notwithstanding the fact that although, despite, even if, however
of major importance are important, is important, was important
on a daily basis, on a regular basis daily, regularly
on behalf of backed, for, supported
one of the a, an, one
on most occasions usually
on the part of among, by, for, of
over the duration of during
per annum a year, yearly, annually
per capita a person, a head
per diem a day, daily, daily allowance, for each day
Please find enclosed (or attached) ... I am enclosing ..., I am attaching ...
present time now, present
prior to before, ahead of 
provided that if, provided
pursuant to by, following, under

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realize a savings of save
refer to as call, name, term
regards to, as regards, with regard to about, as for, for, in, of, on, over, respecting, to, toward, with
relating to about, on
result in lead to
short supply scarce
some of the some
spell out describe, detail, explain, specify, show
state with confidence use a form of be confident
subsequent, subsequent to after, following, later, next, resulting, then
sufficient number of enough, plenty

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take action act
take exception to challenge, disagree (with), dispute, object
take into consideration consider
The undersigned ... I, me, we, us
this office I, me, we, us
time frame age, era, interval, period, time
to a certain degree in part, less often, less so, partially, some
to a large degree largely
to whatever extent however
under the provisions of by, under
until such time until, when
use up use
was of the opinion that believed, said, thought
we are of the opinion we believe, we think
whether or not whether
with a view to to
with reference to about, for, on (or leave out)
with regard to about, for, on (or leave out)

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