Word Funs for
Redundant Phrases – Pleonasms
often have you heard a friend say something like this: "It
was an unexpected surprise when a pair of baby twins was
born at 12 midnight"? What is a surprise if not unexpected?
What are twins if not a pair? Who can be born but a baby?
When is midnight if not at 12? The expressions we use are
full of redundancy. Your friend could just as well have
said: "It was a surprise when twins were born at midnight"
with far less repetition.
stores try to tempt us with free gifts, but how could a gift
be anything but free? You would surely feel it to be an
unfair use of the word "gift" if you were to be charged for
redundant expressions are called pleonasms. Some common ones
are in the list below. Remove the superfluous words (in
brackets) and you will not subtract from the overall meaning
of the expression.
9-autobiography (of my life)
11-(baby) boy was born
13-cease (and desist)
17-commute (back and forth)
18-consensus (of opinion)
20-each (and every)
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