Steer clear of the school of redundancy school.

Posted: February 17th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Plain English: Tips | 2 Comments »

As writers, we often try to add emphasis by piling similar words on top of each other—words that are often redundant and add little. Stick with the unadorned word and avoid redundant phrases, such as these:

Redundant phrases                            why

the end result                                       All results are end results.

the general public                                The public means the general public.

interrelationships                                  All relations are inter.

personal friends                                    All friends are personal.

return back                                          There is no place to return to but back.

individual person                                   Each person is an individual.

the upcoming future                             The future is always upcoming.

2 Comments on “Steer clear of the school of redundancy school.”

  1. 1 Oliver Lawrence said at 4:04 pm on February 17th, 2012:

    For ‘upcoming future’, presumably the mythical writer meant ‘immediate future’, as opposed to the long term. And you can have ‘interim results’, especially in a financial context, so I don’t think ‘end result’ is necessarily tautologous.

    Redundancy can also arise within a single word, as the lamentable ‘irregardless’ (try ‘regardless’ or ‘irrespective’ instead) reminds us.

  2. 2 mariebuckley said at 3:49 pm on March 1st, 2012:

    All good points. But “immediate future” is much better than “upcoming future.” I see your point on financial results, too. Thanks for pointing these out.

What do you think?