© Judi Birnberg
I’ve taken the following list from Maxwell Nurnberg’s Questions You Always Wanted to Ask About English*
* but were afraid to raise your hand.
It’s good to be concise when we write; see if you can spot the redundancies in these sentences:
- If all of us cooperate together, we’ll get somewhere.
- It was the general consensus of opinion that war was inevitable.
- He shook his fist as he rose up to speak.
- He was guilty of a false misstatement.
- He told ties, socks, shirts, and etc.
- He must now realize the fact that we are no longer able to help him.
- In my opinion, I think the situation has grown worse.
- He carefully examined each and every entry.
- He was miraculously restored back to health.
- His score for 18 holes never exceeded more than 75.
(Mr. Nurnberg certainly could have thrown a few examples in using females.—JB)
Do you catch yourself saying or writing any of the following? Be aware they are redundancies. Cut out the deadwood.
• Future plans
• Positive benefit
• Exact same
• End result
• Added bonus
• PIN number
• Repeat again
• Very/S0/Extremely Unique
• Free gift
I hope and trust you realize and understand the subject line above is a kidding joke. So many phrases we hear and read daily are redundant, but we rarely have the awareness to eliminate them; we have gotten used to them. Are any of these your favorites?
The end result
A contributing factor
Face up to the problem
Suffocated to death
Modest about himself
Own her own home
Shrug her shoulders, nod her head
Many redundancies crop up around “personal” or “personally”:
“I personally think that….” There’s a double.
These two are triples:
“I myself personally think that…”
“It’s my own personal opinion that…”
Einstein said, “Everything should be as simple as it can be, but not simpler.” (Aren’t you glad he didn’t make the theory of relativity more complicated?)
Albert Einstein (Photo credit: afagen)
HANGED is used for executions or suicide: “The criminal was hanged.” Sometimes you see “hanged to death” along with “strangled to death” and “starved to death.” Those are all redundancies. If you’re hanged, strangled or starved, you are dead.
HUNG is used for decor: “Angela hung the picture of the well hung model on her bedroom wall.”