Rampant Redundancies 

The excesses of communication in our time are reflected in our language. When verbal overkill is in, eloquence is out. And when was the last time you heard an eloquent speech? So we plod along carrying a sack full of unnecessary words.

Here are some common examples of ripe redundancies ready for burial.

  • ADVANCE NOTICE (Take notice of the notice?) 
  • ADVANCE WARNING (Is this the warning before the warning?) 
  • ADVANCE RESERVATIONS (What kind of reservations aren’t in advance?) 
  • OLD ADAGE (An old, old saying) 
  • CANCER-CAUSING CARCINOGENS (A cancer-causing cancer-causing agent) 
  • PAST HISTORY (Isn’t all history in the past?) 
  • REVERT BACK (Go back back) 
  • FATALLY MURDERED (This person is really dead) 

Why do we have such belabored speech? Two reasons come to mind. We either have an insufficient understanding of many words, or we feel we must annotate our speech to be fully understood. Emphasis is not necessarily efficiency. The problem with redundant types of annotation is that it undermines and muddies the actual meaning of the word. When our language usage gets to the point where we say something like “fatally murdered” (as heard on a radio newscast), we are deep into administering a fatal injection to human communication.

What can we do about this dilemma? One antidote to redundancies is to ask a friend to point out the redundancies to us as we utter them. In this scenario, we need to have a friend with a good vocabulary and a good grasp of language usage. Another effective way would be to work with a specialist in developing effective language and communication.

When we overcome our redundancies, we will at least have the possibility of speaking eloquently. But, if we make such statements as, “My past record on this reverts back to the old adage so evident in past history,” we will reap the bitter fruit of redundant word usage. That fruit will numb our minds and mouths, leaving eloquence and clear expression as a sacred relic. 

Spread the love


Similar posts

“84% of employees expect this job perk—but most executives think it’s a ‘waste of time’”

Can you guess what it is? Answer: Eighty-four percent of employees expect their employer to provide the training and education they need to stay up-to-date with changing skills in their industry, according to a recent survey of more than 800 C-suite executives and 800 employees from online learning platform edX. But senior managers aren’t seeing that way according to an article in CNBC by Ece Yildirim. The article shares that employees value their career development

Spread the love

Artificial Intelligence is Fake

Now, before you jump to conclusions, allow me to be clear with a few definitions and thoughts. The growing nervousness and fear that AI will take over our educational systems and produce future generations of bot brains and wobbly children is ridiculous. That is just the start of the pervasive concerns that writers and artists fear about losing their jobs. Let’s not even start with the apprehension that educators face about their societal roles. One needs only to

Spread the love

Why Do They Say “Look”?

Have you noticed how many times a political candidate or commentator will say the word “look”? Why do they say that? Well, let us zoom the picture back a little and think about this. Linguists and psychologists have introduced us to what they refer to as “representational systems.” They tell us that people are prone to expressing their feelings, attitudes, opinions, and using one of three ‘representational systems.’ They have named these to be Visual,

Spread the love


Tell us what’s on your mind: