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in other words

It seems to be common for writers to use “in other words” in their writing, which seems to be mostly done as a rhetorical technique. I can see no reason to use this phrase in writing, except perhaps in the case of explaining complex technical information or visual content to a general audience. This is a pet peeve of mine but others seem to have no problem with it. I feel that if something can be said more effectively in other words, those words should be used instead of the less effective ones. Your thoughts on the matter?

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"In other words" is a perfectly valid transition used to introduce a reformulation of something previously stated, either to specify or clarify. As a rhetorical tool it can be useful to restate a point "in other words" in order to address a different audience or a different detail.

"In other words" does *not* mean "in better words"!

Kyle June 22, 2012, 8:42pm

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