Friday, 1 July 2011

Tautology II

Some words and phrases are in themselves unnecessarily superfluous and redundantly otiose:

anywhere (the biggest population of Koreans anywhere in Europe”
by contrast
first created, first began
for example
for the first time ever
in total
in turn
may well
real (there’s a real risk of humanitarian disaster)
right up to the present day
very (the very thing that…, the very man who…)
whatsoever (bear no relation whatsoever)
yet (it isn’t ready yet)

Ivana Lowell ruins Oscar Wilde's definition of fox-hunting: “The unspeakable in full pursuit of the unspeakable.” And you cut to the chase (in an old silent movie), you don't cut straight to the chase. The graffiti read MY KARMA HAS RUN OVER MY DOGMA, not Help! My karma has just run over my dogma!

People can usually work out for themselves whether numbers are big or small:

a good 22 years ago
a massive 60%
a total of three
as many as 1 million
as much as 99mm
for two full months
fully half
in all, eight carriages were set on fire
just 2.5, just ten minutes from the city centre
no fewer than 100

Ditch repetitive phrases like transformational change/new innovation/worldwide global firm, says @goodcopybadcopy

And don't add an adjective or adverb that adds nothing:

sworn enemy, implacable foe (Amanda Foreman's A World on Fire: An Epic History of Two Nations Divided)
awarded the prestigious prize
he arrogantly refused to relinquish power (It would have been so much nicer if he'd done it humbly.)
Despite persistent denials to the contrary
(This is why grammar catastrophisers say “Don’t use adverbs or adjectives!”)

13 different sizes (if two of them were the same as each other, you’d only have 12 sizes etc etc)
a deadly battle in which 1,000 were killed
added bonus
Argentina calls UK “a crude colonial power” for hanging on to the Falklands. (We like to think we’re a refined colonial power.)
at a decisive crossroads
back in the 80s (we can work out that the 80s aren’t in the future)
bitter/brutal/bloody conflicts – give the detail
continue on
continued all along
could eventually end up
devastating floods that left 1,000 acres of farmland unusable (If you’re going to detail the devastation, no need to say “devastating”. Always better to give detail.)
down to the sea below
equally as
excise out
fictitious story
forward planning
from this moment on
fully insulated
hailed as a significant milestone
hang down
hollow charade
horrible tragedy Tony Blair on the Middle East “the horrible tragedy is that innocents die”
it was an act of gratuitous violence that was totally unnecessary (Vicar on Crimewatch Roadshow June 30, 2011) We’re seeing more objects taken from religious churches. (Art squad spokesman, ditto)
parachuting down
phenomenal tragedy (of sex abuse in the Catholic church, Catholic commentator on the weekend of the Pope’s visit)
pithy bon mot
return back
reverse back
revert back
sink down
synchronise together
terrible havoc
dysfunctional disaster: the country “seemed like a dysfunctional disaster about to collapse”
the lamentable weakness of the (criminal justice system)
the reason why
their first collaboration together
throughout the whole day
tricky dilemma
two separate groups
upward ascent
appalling poisoned chalice We mustn’t leave behind for our children “an appalling poisoned chalice”. Prince Charles Times Sep 12 10
while also

More here.

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