Saturday, August 21, 2010


Dear You, I plan to start a new thread today under the label, ‘Words_for_Birds’.

Words constitute languages. Ever wondered what we’d do without them, even when it is interesting to wonder what we do ‘with’ them at various occasions? :)  This word is important in the sense that we, speakers of English as second language, need to be aware of the aspect of avoiding unnecessary repetition of words, especially in writing. So, here we go.
What do we call when someone is making unnecessary use of two or more words to express one meaning? It is called tautology,,e.g. the phrase “a beginner has just started”, is a case for tautology. Or “he saw with his own eyes” or “true fact”. Such a statement would be a tautologous statement. To such a user I can say, “Stop tautologizing!”

. His speech was full of tautologies.

Tautology is a defect we should be aware of while speaking or writing. It’s a common defect with users. There are other synonymous (similar) words meaning for this, which can be learnt: Pleonasm, Redundancy, Prolixity, Prodigality, Verbosity, and Superfluity. A speech or writing would be pleonastic, redundant, prolix, prodigal, verbose, and superfluous if it carries this defect. I gave you six good formal words to use when the next time you come across this defect and you want to describe it in words. Examples of these words will follow over next few posts under the label, ‘Words_for_Birds’. Doubts will be welcomed. Next lecture: what do we call speech that is the opposite: without this defect. Happy reading.

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