Redundancies Are Just Plain Repetitive!


Redundancies are sometimes part of our casual speech, terms which are incorrectly repeated in a sentence. While in college I remember hearing people use “revert back” in their sentences, a habit that seemed to be well entrenched with newscasters, government officials, and everyday folks. Revert means to “go back” therefore when you utter revert back you are saying go back back.

open bookAs you might guess the person who habitually repeats a redundancy does not sound very smart. Importantly, if you incorporate redundancies in your college papers or reports, then your professors could hold these mistakes against you, resulting in a lower grade.

Just for fun, I decided to include some of the common redundancies of our day, tapping Grammar Smart (page 111) [1], for many examples while including a few that I am familiar with along with the occasional comment in parenthesis:

  • 7 a.m. In the morning (three words can be removed here)
  • Actual experience
  • Blue in color
  • Cease and desist (a common legal term)
  • Cheap price
  • Close proximity (this one surprised me)
  • Consensus of opinion
  • Contemporary writers of today
  • Free gift (if the gift is not free, then it is not a gift)
  • If and when
  • Joint cooperation
  • Joint partnership (joint venture is fine)
  • Mingle together (use commingle instead)
  • Natural instinct
  • Never at any time (sound poetic)
  • New innovation
  • Null and void (another misused legal term)
  • Poisonous venom
  • Small in size
  • Surrounded on all sides
  • True fact (what facts are not true?)

Redundancies are also known as pleonasms, a term your English Literature and Composition professor knows of. And, if redundancies are part of your (regular) routine, the (end) result is that you will place your instructor in an (awkward) predicament by presenting you with an (unexpected) surprise: a low grade.


[1] The Staff of The Princeton Review, (2001). Grammar Smart: A Guide to Perfect Usage. New York: Random House, Inc..


Photo Credit: Sanja Gjenero


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