TIPSY Today™ Blog with Rogena & Colleen | A Footprint of RMJ Editing & Manuscript Service, Colleen Snibson Editing, and Two Red Pens Editing
Tautology comes from the Greek word meaning "redundant."
Tautology is the repetition of the same idea with another word or phrase. You might have had your editor tell you something was redundant. This was probably when you allowed tautology to appear in your writing.
Here is what Grammarly says:
"When you repeat an idea that has already been stated with another word or phrase, it’s a tautology. Sometimes it can give the impression of presenting new or supplementary information, or it can add emphasis. Other times, ... it is simply an unintentional redundancy."
Learning what tautology means and working to remove repetition in writing, an author can tighten their story, making it more concise. It will draw your reader in when they don't have to wade through extra words and repeated thoughts. Writing this way can be difficult, though. Even in writing this blog, I've deleted several repetitions of my own.
Tautology is useless restatement, or saying the same thing twice using different words. “Speedy sprint" is a tautology because sprint already means "speedy running."
ChangingMinds.com says this:
"Tautology can be repetition of a single word or of phrases or sentences. The main point in it is that meaning is reproduced.
"Tautology is often used in error, including when people are trying to use 'clever' language which they do not really understand. Another place it appears in formal language where the writer is being overly explicit.
"It can happen deliberately where the speaker is trying to make sure the other person understands and so is using different words in case the listener does not understand the initial (and usually more complex or jargon-based) word.
"Tautology can happen where abbreviations include words which are repeated, such as 'The BPS System', where 'BPS' means Business Processing System'. It can also occur across languages, for example 'chai tea', where 'chai' is Hindi for 'tea'."
Examples of tautology:
►Saying they woke at 5 a.m. in the morning (a.m. tells the reader it was "in the morning"—say they woke at five a.m. or at five in the morning, but not both)
►If you use quotation marks around something to denote a "so-called" name or situation, don't use the words "so-called" and vice versa. (The so-called bargain cost a fortune. The "bargain" cost a fortune.)
What are some examples of tautology you can think of?
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IMAGE CREDIT: Grammarly.com
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Rogena Mitchell-Jones | RMJ Manuscript Service LLC | www.rogenamitchell.com
Colleen Snibson | Colleen Snibson Editing | www.colleensnibsonediting.com
Two Red Pens Editing | www.tworedpens.com
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