"I'm curious as to what people here see as the difference between the above above phrasing (using 'embodiment'), and this phrasing that avoids 'embodiment.'"
The above phrasing (using "embodiment") is just sh!tty writing. It's sh!tty writing. It's a whole bunch of words that don't need to be a whole bunch of words. It's sh!tty writing.
But because it's a patent application, you have the contingent of "magic word" types who will tell you, "YOU HAVE TO WRITE IT LIKE THIS!!!!!!!"
Those people are idiots. Morons. If you ask them why every single possible implementation or variation or example has to be described as an "embodiment" you'll get a bunch of hemming and hawing nonsense. Or they'll cite some obscure case law that is as far off base as the ridiculous case law cites you get from examiners.
Patent applications should be well written. Which means they shouldn't be a chore, and bore, to read. Nobody wants to read "In yet another possible exemplary preferred embodiment of the present invention..." twenty f#cking times in a 9 or 10 page document. But it's a lot of words. So it makes the application longer. And it makes it look like the drafter "did a lot of work."
It's sh!t. I see crap like that from OC constantly. I redline the f#ck out of it. And their 13 or 14 pages turns out to be 8 or 9 pages when you get rid of all the drivel and repetition and nonsense.
I had one OC who, when referring to an element of the system we were disclosing, would write, "In the exemplary preferred embodiment of the present invention schematically illustrated in Fig. 1, the doohickey 10 of the widget 20 of the gadget 30 of the system 40..." And then every single time he referred to the "doohickey 10" he would tack on "of the widget 20 of the gadget 30 of the system 40" so the application would have 10, 20, maybe 30 references to "the doohickey 10 of the widget 20 of the gadget 30 of the system 40." It was f#cking maddening. I wanted to f#cking shoot him. Thank goodness we fired his firm.