Pleonasms: Words That Don’t Need To Be Together
Here’s a word that a search indicates may never have been said on NPR: “pleonasm.”
But we and other news outlets put pleonasms on the air and on the Web every day.
What is a pleonasm?
“The use of more words than are necessary for the expression of an idea; redundancy.”
An “exodus” is the departure of a large, massive group.
“Foremost” means “first in place or time.”
If they were destroyed, enough’s been said.
A few of the more common:
– “Safe haven.”
– “Final results.”
– “Advance planning.”
You can probably think of many more.
There are times when pleonasms are useful – for instance, when you want to make sure listeners really, really, really understand the point you’re making. Also, they are common expressions and we do try to be conversational.
But, they annoy some listeners, might add nothing to your story and take up space when you may be fighting to squeeze in valuable information. Feel free to cut them.
Related post: “Do You Suffer From RAS Syndrome?”
(Memmos; Sept. 15, 2015)
September 15, 2015