2017-11-01 / Features

How redundant can you get?

Let’s talk about repeating things over and over again. Consider this article a grammatical protest against doing such things. I realize redundancies (that is the fancy name for saying the same identical thing, in close proximity to the word or phrase already used, as part of a sentence) crop up in our writing and conversation as unintended mistakes, but if we just plan ahead and -- just as importantly -- learn from past history, we will have a final outcome that will do us proud.

So, let’s enter in to this effort to change our ways by recognizing, first off, that the errors we are committing are in contrast to the basic fundamentals of good English.

Happily, we can be absolutely certain of success in conquering bad habits such as this, and, as an added bonus, can make our thoughts easier to understand, if we just refuse to revert back to our old, sloppy approach to correct usage. I’m asking you to join together with me as we begin to move in a completely opposite conversational direction. Let us see how much forward progress we can make, my friends.

No -- don’t waste your breath on rationalized excuses or explanations that some of our most over-employed redundancies are foreign imports. Such justifications will simply have to be postponed until later if you feel you must offer some argument on behalf of sloppy communication. I truly do not have time to try to convince you of the absolute necessity of eliminating redundancies if you are only intent on proving that your each and every error is, somehow, both excusable and acceptable.

That is an empty hole argument, and I will not descend down to the depths of ridiculously absurd justifications.

If you are unwilling to learn, let’s simply make a final end to this discussion.

What’s that? You were only kidding? You are truly ready to rise up and accept my challenge, recognizing that change is absolutely essential?

Very well -- let us shut down all further discussion and begin the lesson.

It is a simple assignment: Find the 29 redundancies in this article. 1. Repeating over and over again (this is, in fact, a trio of redundancies, any way you want to pair them, since “repeating,” “over and over” and “again” all convey the meaning that something is happening more than once.)

2. Protest against (I know protests are old hat and boring now, but keep in mind that protests are always, always “against” something – and that’s one of the things I find so boring about them, come to think of it.)

3. Same identical (if it’s not the same, it’s not identical, now is it?)

4. Close proximity (proximity means “close.” If you insist on getting doubly close, you might end up on the other side.)

5. Unintended mistakes (Can you really call it a mistake if it is intended?)

6. Plan ahead (Try planning backward. I dare you.)

7. Past history (History that is not past is not history, at all, now is it?)

8. Final outcome (I’m certain you know this, but outcomes are final -- otherwise they wouldn’t have “come out” that way at all.)

9. Enter in (Is there another way to get there?)

10. Basic fundamentals (Fundamentals are never complicated. They are -- basic.)

11. Absolutely certain (If something is not absolute, it can’t very well be certain, can it?)

12. Added bonus (Tell me now, just what is a bonus if not something offered as an add on?)

13. Revert back (No matter how hard you try, you cannot revert forward, or sideways, or up or down or in or out. You can only revert in a motion that takes you back.)

14. Join together (Ever tried to join apart or separate together? Note, too, that “join with” is pushing the much-too-much thing as well, when paired with me.)

15. Completely opposite (Is it possible to be less opposite than completely? I mean, have you ever heard of something being partially opposite?)

16. Forward progress (Deliver me from backward progress. Please!)

17. Rationalized excuses (An excuse is an excuse is a rationalization. No way around it.)

18. Over-employed redundancies (Tell me you got this one. Please tell me you got this one.)

19. Foreign imports (Remember third-grade geography? Imports are foreign.)

20. Postponed until later (Can’t very well postpone until earlier, now can you?)

21. Absolute necessity (Akin to “absolutely certain” in that the adjective absolute and the adverb absolutely mean there is no doubt about it to begin with.)

22. Each and every (Yes, I know you’ve never given it a second thought before, but there really is no justification for this overdo.)

23. Empty hole (Give me you best definition of “hole.” Does it include the word “full”? Of course not. Point proved.)

24. Descend down to the depths (Another instance of triple over-kill. Descend down. Descend to the depths. Down to the depths. Enough, already. This is such a downer.)

25. Ridiculously absurd (Well, of course it is, and you don’t need to say it twice to make your point.)

26. Final end (An end would have to be, wouldn’t it? “Final,” I mean. Otherwise, it would be endlessly ridiculous.)

27. Rise up (See “descend down to the depths” and think in the opposite direction.)

28. Absolutely essential (See “absolutely certain” and “absolute necessity” if you are having trouble with this one.)

29. Shut down (Just say “stop.” Okay?)

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