Try this: read a news story online or listen to a radio newscast and count how many times you hear the word additional.
“The total cost estimate for additional security …”
“The province has already seen an additional 43 wildfires this year …”
“Canada will invite the leaders of a dozen additional countries ...”
Journalists — and many other professions — love the word additional.
What’s so great about it?
Additional has four syllables and it generally stands in for more, extra, and other.
Merriam-Webster tells me additional was first used in this way in 1563, so it certainly has a long history in the English language.
I still don’t like it.
We don’t use additional in regular conversations, even professional conversations. It has become one of those fancy words people use when they’re trying to sound more sophisticated in their writing. These words don’t put pictures in your head; they make your eyes glaze over.
Additional can also lead to awkward sentence construction. It’s often better to choose the right shorter word that fits the sentence. Let’s take the three examples above and see how much better they sound without this highfalutin word:
“More security will likely cost …”
“Already, the province has seen 43 extra wildfires this year …”
“Canada will invite the leaders of 12 more countries …”
Isn’t that a lot easier to understand?
These new sentences have real words we actually use in conversation.
Real words. They’re the best.