Get rid of 'expeditiously' -- quickly!

I’m listening to the news on the radio, and I just heard Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot say what needed to be done — and done “expeditiously.”

Madam Mayor, with that word, you lost my attention completely. A minute after I was eager to hear what you said on the topic, your careless extra-large word wrecked my attention.

When you speed something up, in some technical contexts, expediting it is a clear way to talk about an increase in speed.

But when you want something done quickly, why use a five-syllable word (expeditiously) when quickly itself has only two?

When you need help, would you ever say “Help! Expeditiously!” — or would you make the second word quickly?

I think we can solve this quickly. Let’s get rid of expeditiously, or at least limit it to very technical usages.


Leave a comment
  • Margaret, if Holmes can use "elementary," then I think we have to give Mayor Lightfoot "expeditiously."

  • In reply to Grundoon:

    You're getting to know me by bringing up Holmes, Grundoon! I just don't know a good abbreviation for "elementary," (Its use in the original stories gives me another post idea -- thank you!)

  • Good point. "Quickly" is just the right word.

    BTW, when Holmes said "Elementary, dear Watson" he wasn't telling him to act as fast as possible.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Thank you. Some would argue for "fast," but it isn't an adverb, and also, it doesn't have the distinctive sound that makes "Quickly!" an effective word to yell.

  • Lightfoot is a lawyer, so what do you expect? Besides, the context was that the Gaming Board has sat on about 5 applications for about 2 years, so it is about time for the Board to expedite them.

    More relevant was that someone critcised me for using "more quickly" for "quicker," even though quickly is clearly an adverb. That was in the times when one could troll a commenter's timeline, and, sure enough, I found a grammatical error in another of his posts.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thank you for supplying the context that blew out of my mind, Jack. It is time that the applications get speeded up. (I could do that without even "expedite.")

    What do I expect? Just clear language, even when it feels like too much to ask.

  • In reply to Margaret H. Laing:

    It isn't the application that needs to be speeded up. To use another legal term, it is the Board that is not acing with all deliberate speed in passing on the application.

  • In reply to jack:

    OK, thank you. I have liked that term, "deliberate speed," for a long time. Not careless speed, but as fast as can be done deliberately.

  • In reply to jack:

    Speaking of legal term meaning "fast," what about eo instante?

  • In reply to jnorto:

    It looks impressive, jnorto, but I don't know whether the first word would catch on. It looks tough to pronounce.

Leave a comment