As old as the issue may be, linguistic prescriptivism is still in our faces, now thanks to the backseat style-checking that is pre-enabled in most word processors now. This is additional to the long standing spell-checker squigglies and grammar squigglies we’re used to. The new checker, which you can see in action to the right, is there to catch grammatically acceptable, and correctly spelled, swaths of text that are simply not Strunky or Whitey enough. Sometimes this feature catches comma splices, and reminds you that your apostrophized contraction might anger your boss (will it?). In my mind, the most pernicious style policing these checkers do is about “conciseness”, which I am certain the algorithm has a cogent definition of (it got mad right here) and has a reasoned argument for why concise phrasing is strictly better than elaborated phrasing (spoiler: it doesn’t).
In one email, the checker hit me three times over conciseness issues. It wanted me to change “bring up” to “mention”, which I think is reasonable enough.
It then wanted me to change “come up with” to “produce”. The implicit object in this case was a set of ideas, but it’s hardly correct to assume “produce” is strictly a better phrase that “come up with” for ideas. “I’ll let you know what ideas we produce”? Please, no.
Finally, it suggested I cut “in order to” down to just “to” for conciseness. In this sentence, that would leave me with the foul-tasting “Who do I… build a bridge to to…", and in the email register, I’m certainly not starting a question with "To whom.”
I understand economy of page and the importance of brevity, but the suggestions above were hardly synonyms that could be slotted in for brevity’s sake without sacrificing tone and meaning.