Friday, 18 March 2011


1. In an attempt to emphasise a point we sometimes use more words than we need to. When a word or phrase is not essential we may call it redundant. A few examples are:

a. The use of "I believe" and "In my opinion" in sentences like these: "In considering the issue of the higher taxes I believe we should …"; "In my opinion, the mayor is a nice man." It should be obvious that if the writers did not believe what they were about to say, they would not be saying it, and if it were not their opinion they would state whose opinion it was!

b. The use of "situation" in a phrase like "crisis situation", as it adds nothing to the sense of what is being said. A crisis is a crisis, and a "crisis situation" is no better or worse!

2. Some instances of redundancy represent what is called "tautology" – saying the same thing in two words or phrases occurring close together.

For example, the phrase "mutual agreement" is tautological. Agreement implies mutuality, making the word "mutual" redundant.

Other examples are “new innovation”, “reverse backwards”, “repeat again”, “various different”, “the whole entire”, “advance bookings”, “9 a.m. in the morning”, “the two of them were both …” and “I myself" (or “I personally”). -ws-

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