Tautology is using words that mean the same thing in a sentence, that do not add anything further. An example is ‘widow woman’. I am going to talk about some tautological things that people say and write today.
So let’s begin.
I heard someone on the radio talk about a ‘small, little…’ Can you have anything little that’s not small? I have heard this on several occasions. Never, though, a ‘large, big…’ that I can remember.
‘Reverse back’ is another one frequently heard. Have you ever seen anyone reverse forwards? I haven’t.
‘Repeat again.’ Now this one can be used, but only if the thing has been said (or done) at least twice. Repeat means to do it again. The ‘again’ is in the word itself.
One that irritates me, and is very frequently used these days is ‘Various different…’ Have you ever come across things that varied but were the same?
‘Fall down’, although frequently used in everyday life, is none the less tautological. You can’t ‘fall up’, so the ‘down’ is unnecessary. This is one that writers should watch out for.
Close proximity. If it’s in proximity, it’s close!
Necessary requirement. If it’s not necessary, it’s not a requirement.
PIN number. Since PIN stands for Personal Identification Number, saying PIN number is saying ‘personal identification number number.’
We see, in advertising, ‘Your Free Gift’ Well, if it’s not free, it’s not a gift, and if it’s a gift, then obviously it’s free.
Thought to myself. Writers beware. Unless telepathic, you can only think to yourself. Telepaths are a very rare commodity, I think.
Finally, one heard on a snooker programme. The graphic showed a circular spot where the player wanted the cue ball to end up, and the commentator mentioned a ’round circle.’ Anyone know any circles that are not round?
I would love to hear any others you can think of. I know there are so many. Please add comments in the comments box.