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Consider the sentence:

This leaves Plan A sitting pretty and remains the only option that keeps Goal A firmly on the table.

In my formal document, I cannot have an idiom like "sitting pretty" since it's very casual. However, it's challenging to think of alternatives.

Question

Is there a more formal/professional word or phrase I could use in place of "sitting pretty" in the above sentence?

  • Best I could do: "more desirable"
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    Well, in the Brexit No Deal débacle, the phrase is “the default option”.
    – Tuffy
    Sep 4, 2019 at 7:18
  • I’d call plan A the only viable option and thus the preferred option to consider, the most promising approach, the one that should be the focus of further development efforts, etc, etc,
    – Xanne
    Sep 4, 2019 at 8:30
  • @Tuffy 'backstop' is bandied about Sep 4, 2019 at 9:20
  • @marcellothearcane Indeed it is, but that is intended by its defenders as a ‘safety net’ or ‘insurance policy’ (to prevent the possibility of a resumption of armed conflict returning to Northern Ireland. At present, it is neither a default option nor ‘sitting pretty’! Default option happen in the event that no alternative can be agreed. In the Brexit case, unless parliament can find a majority for an alternative and agree it with the EU, UK leaves the EU without a deal on 31Oct19. That ‘default option’ is thus ‘sitting pretty’.
    – Tuffy
    Sep 4, 2019 at 9:43
  • What exactly do you want to convey by "sitting pretty"? It does not mean "more desirable" at all. Can you explain?
    – Kris
    Sep 4, 2019 at 9:53

2 Answers 2

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From Collins dictionary's definition of be sitting pretty:

If you are sitting pretty, you are in a very favourable situation.
[informal]
If we'd let them buy it for a quarter of a million, we'd be sitting pretty by now.


Alternatives to sitting pretty (and the sentence) are then as follows:

This leaves Plan A in a good position, and [it] remains the only option that keeps Goal A firmly on the table.

This leaves Plan A in good shape, and [it] remains the only option that keeps Goal A firmly on the table.

This leaves Plan A doing well, and the only option that keeps Goal A firmly on the table.

This leaves Plan A well positioned to keep Goal A firmly on the table.

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pretty TFD adv

fairly, rather, quite, kind of (informal), somewhat, moderately, reasonably

Thus, my sense points to reasonable as a non-idiomatic and more formal alternative in any context:

As in:

This leave X reasonable and ...

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