Thursday, April 28, 2011

A-Z Challenge X = inXcess (ahem)

Me when I heard it was X day
Well, what did you expect for X? Xenophobia? Nah. I live in a country that isn't my birthplace, but, thank God, everyone's pretty tolerant here. The worst they think is that I'm funny, but that's OK - so does everyone else (and not necessarily funny-ha-ha).

Today we have another little grammar lesson, based on excess. An excess of words or to put it another way "tautology". There.

Oh, you want more? A definition of tautology is: the use of more than one word to convey the same thought and I'm guilty of it when I'm writing. Are you? Here're some examples:

absolute certainty.  It's just a certainty - otherwise it's not absolute. Get the idea?
free gift. can't be a gift if it's not free, can it?
revert back
added bonus. Just bonus.
end result
forward planning. Just planning
future plans. Just plans
future prospects. Just prospects
past history. Either past or history
revert back. Either back or revert

The famous one from the great British railway services: due to an earlier incident... (due to an incident)
And look at these:
quite distinct
really excellent
very beautiful
quite unique
absolutely perfect

Any ideas what's wrong with this second set?
And do you know any more "tautology"?


  1. Ah yes, I'm familiar with tautology. It made editing fun - NOT!

    It's amazing how you can easily say one thing six different tiumes. quite admirable in a sense...

  2. Oh yes, DU. I'm guilty of tautology, definitely. And I can't always spot it.

  3. I find these a lot when I'm editing - it's as if the writer can't decide which way to say something so they say it a few different ways in a row. I always felt superior in correcting it, until it was pointed out that I do exactly the same thing in my own writing. Ha! Hard to spot when you're the guilty party.

  4. P.S. You're Not cheating with this "X" word. Just being creative ;-)

  5. OMG, I'm so guilty of all of these. I could probably cut a few thousand words from my manuscript if I knew how to stop doing this.

  6. Katie that's so annoying but we're all guilty - I'm extremely guilty ;) LOL. Oh good, I didn't cheat..
    L.G. I wish I knew a cure too.

  7. Good post, considering you had to reach in the X department. :) I think we make these mistakes a lot in conversation. I hear people say stuff like...I was thinking the exact same thing...and they talk about items as being...the little small one. I better watch out for these in my writing. They slip in all too easily.

  8. They do slip in, J.L. and we're completely blind (LOL) to them. They're pretty hideous (!) things to get rid of. Right, I'm going to stop this now otherwise I'll start writing like it all the time!

  9. I've been known to do that... many, many times. Crap, I bet I only needed one only, didn't I?

  10. One MANY.
    Maybe I need to take a break from the computer instead...

  11. LOL, Alex. Yes, take a rest, you deserve it.

  12. You'd have to be a very spectacular character to be able to make future plans. Although I can't help but imagine all the time-travel possibilities. :D

  13. How about this:
    eternally forever

    Or this:
    blissfully happy

    final ending

    Great tip today. I've got several magazine articles coming due that I will end up writing in haste because they all have the same deadline. I'm going to watch to make sure I don't write anything stupidly ignorant in them.


  14. Oh, no I have this syndrome, too~ Is it catching?! lol
    Fun post and informative, too~

  15. Thanks, now there's a thought
    Lucy - lovely examples
    Ella, we all have it I think - it's inherent!

    Thanks everyone for commenting!


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