Is there a word or phrase to describe a person, or at least the quality of a person, who tends to leave out important details when communicating? For example someone said "The store Costco is dangerous". Initially I thought he meant their have been a lot of violent crimes around Costco, but latter I found out he was trying to say Costco is so cheap you end up spending a lot of money on things you don't really need.

I would like to use the word in the sentence "Person x is very _____ " or "Person x is very _____ in his communication style".

I was thinking of the word "unclear" but often times a person is unclear for the exact opposite reason, because they add too much information.

  • Unreliable narrator? – Rand al'Thor Nov 15 '15 at 1:32
  • @randal'thor that's more of a literary term, not one you'd describe any actual person with . – Celeritas Nov 15 '15 at 1:42
  • @Celeritas laconic; terse; frugal with their words; evasive? – Elian Nov 15 '15 at 2:57
  • "Politician" comes to mind. – Hot Licks Feb 26 '16 at 21:21

The phrase [being] economical with the truth can have this meaning:

avoiding ​stating the ​true ​facts about a ​situation, or ​lying about it

{Cambridge Dictionaries online}

But dissimulation is a better fit

dissimulation (misleading by withholding pertinent information) {Wikipedia}

I'd avoid the agent noun (dissimulator), which has other connotations (at least) to do with one's beliefs etc, and sounds almost outlandish in any case.

Another term is elliptical:

elliptic or elliptical adj.

  1. a. Of or relating to extreme economy of oral or written expression.

b. Marked by deliberate obscurity of style or expression.

{AHDEL} and

  1. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) (of speech, literary style, etc) a. very condensed or concise, often so as to be obscure or ambiguous

{Collins; same link}

  • 1
    Economical with truth, I like that phrase. – Celeritas Nov 15 '15 at 1:57
  • This is very helpful :) – Abs Nov 15 '15 at 4:29

"Conservative with giving details"


You could consider using "double-speak" as in "Paxon always uses doublespeak" and it means:

language that is intended to make people believe something which is not true, or that can be understood in two different ways


deliberately euphemistic, ambiguous, or obscure language:

[Oxford Online Dictionary]

"Doubletalk" is a synonym which means:

inflated, involved, and often deliberately ambiguous language.



"The person is ______________ in his communicative style."

  • black-or-white
  • simplistic
  • simple-minded
  • not very nuanced

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