Just Being Redundant Again

Published 3:23 pm Thursday, May 9, 2013

Have you ever thought how silly it is to refer to the meter spinner that warms our showers and helps makes white clothes white as a “hot water heater?”

Why, pray tell, would there need to be a “hot water heater?” Wouldn't “hot” water be already, well, hot and in no need of heating?

Or why, when we hang up the telephone, do we often say “bye-bye?” Isn't one “bye” sufficient?

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Such is a world full of redundancy-or extra, unnecessary words that say the same thing.

Google or search the internet for redundant phrases used again and again and you'll come up with lists and lists. It'll make you do a double take for double thoughts. Our wonderful English language is quite full of verbose over-usage.

In fact, if you hadn't noticed, I'm currently using some redundancies now. It's forced and contrived, but what's a writing journalist to do?

Sadly, there are just so many redundancies that have worked their way into common usage. Think 12 midnight, for example. Can midnight come at any other time than 12 a.m.? Twelve p.m., of course, is 12 noon and noon is always, well, at noon, so there's no reason to state that it comes at 12.

These are just true facts.

And think about advance planning. Isn't planning always done in advance? It would be silly to plan after the fact-about as silly as making a reservation after you've stayed in the hotel (advance reservations, anyone?).

Then there's frozen ice? (Well, I suppose, there is dry ice.)

Or frozen tundra?

We often hear about the “frozen tundra” at some January outdoor football field. Frozen turf would make more sense and not be redundant. You see, tundra is, by definition, frozen.

I'm sure I'm an offender, too. Yes, quite, quite sure of saying the same thing in a different way back-to-back. But all of us, without exception, often frequently fail to think through our usage of words, even if they're written on paper. Observe a small speck, or an unexpected surprise or an athlete working on basic fundamentals.

Specks are small.

Surprises are always unexpected.

And fundamentals are, by their nature, basic building blocks to becoming an athlete.

Words, but unnecessary words for the general public, whether they be gathered together, joined together or not. Together is best when it stands alone.

Forgive me for over exaggerating the problem, but word tangling is also a bit fun.

People often base decisions on past history, past memory, and past records. It makes perfect sense since history, memories and records all come to us from the past.

But let's put that redundancy behind us.

I'd like to thank the one who gave the inspiration for this column, a personal friend who, obviously drew upon their own personal experiences and offered their own personal thoughts.

Yes, I made them redundant, too. Friends, experiences and thoughts are all personal.

I could, of course, go on and on, but you get the photographic picture. A good rule in writing that I heard long ago is that if you can say something in less words, say it in less words.