Issue 175, page 3

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curmdgeon.GIF (1254 bytes) Curmudgeons' Corner

Guestmudgeon Robert Simms gets irritated by redundancy and repetition (and redundancy):

I teach writing at a college. I warn my students against redundancies, not only because such constructions are bad grammar, but also because they irritate the professor. Examples:

"The change may be something that could come soon."
"I could possibly come tomorrow."
"They gave me a free gift."
"The reason why I went was that I wanted to see you."
"The reason I went was because I wanted to see you."
(In both the above two examples, simply "reason . . . that" will do.)
"And, if you act now, you'll get an added bonus."
"The general consensus is that Jones will win."
"The consensus of opinion is that Jones will win." (A consensus is both general and an opinion.)
"You have ten minutes still remaining."
"Remember back ten years ago?"
"Reflect back on your successes." (Or "re-" anything else)
"Continue on to the next exit." (Go on, on)
"That option is a distant extreme."
"I told my story to five different people." (Or was it five of the same people?)
"Put your PIN number into the ATM machine." (And and don't don't get get it it wrong wrong.)
"An armed gunman robbed the bank today." (In yesterday's robbery the gunman was unarmed.)
And then there are: "Mentally insane, new innovations, basic fundamentals, foreign imports, descend down, ascend up, single largest, and center median." And on and on.

Have you heard or read similar or equally distressing usages?

Do tell us. 

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