I admire people who can state their ideas precisely without resorting to circumlocution or long-winded wordiness. Richard Feynman, the Nobel prize winning physicist, is well known for his simple explanations of physics, which do not resort to lengthy circumlocution. “Don’t say reflected acoustic wave,” Feynman would say. “Say echo.” I find that people most often use wordy circumlocution and roundabout ways of conversing if they have nothing important to say.
Quiz: Which statement is an example of circumlocution?
- “It has come to my attention that members of this family have been suffering from a wealth of free time in recent weeks.”
- “We are going to make some changes in this family—right now.”
- “No one in this family is keeping up with their chores.”