20 redundancies

20 Redundancies To Know

Sometimes we say the same thing twice using two different words. Sometimes we say the same thing twice in different languages. Here are 20 redundant phrases of which to be mindful:

Two words may share a meaning or one word will add nothing to the meaning of another:
  1. Free gift: Gift means something given without payment; it is invariably free.
  2. Added bonus: Bonus is the “unexpected that accompanies or enhances.” Added adds nothing.
  3. Maximum capacity: Capacity means “maximum amount”; maximum is built-in.
  4. $3 million dollars: The dollar symbol ($) rids the need for the word dollar or vice versa.
  5. Basic or bare essentials: Essentials are the fundamental elements; basic or bare is not needed.
Some are so ingrained that it may be hard to keep the redundant part out:
  1. False pretense: Pretense is a false display; there are no true pretenses.
  2. Invited guests: Guest is someone who is invited. Uninvited guests are real but still represent an oxymoron (and possibly a moron).
  3. Revert back: Revert is to go back to a previous state or condition. You don’t revert forward.
  4. Protest against: Protest is action or statement against something. Against is built-in.
  5. Close proximity: Proximity shows nearness. There is no far proximity.
Confusion can arise from foreign-born words or expressions, where the literal meaning isn’t always known:
  1. Please R.S.V.P. (Répondez S'il Vous Plaît): literally “please, reply, please.” No extra please (unless you are truly begging).
  2. And et cetera: Et cetera means “and the other things.” The extra and is not needed.
  3. 2-year anniversary: Anniversary’s Latin roots translate to “returning yearly.” The year part is built right in. This also means you should never use anniversary when referring to months (or weeks or days, weirdo).
Many arise from initialisms, abbreviations where each individual letter is pronounced, and acronyms, abbreviations where the whole thing is pronounced as a word:
  1. RAM memory: Random Access Memory memory
  2. L.C.D. display: Liquid-Crystal Display display
  3. P.C. computer: Personal Computer computer
  4. VIN number: Vehicle Identification Number number
  5. C.D. disc: Compact Disc disc
  6. A.T.M. machine: Automatic Teller Machine machine
  7. PIN number: Personal Identification Number number
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