Pleonasms or Tautological Redundancies
(avoid redundancies or excessive repetitiousness by not using unnecessary repetitions and superfluous words or more word usages than is needed, desired, or required)
The use of pleonasms results in a superfluity of words, sometimes deliberately, for emphasis; or the unnecessary repetitions resulting from a lack of the realization that such terms are redundant.
A tautological statement, sentence, etc. repeats its meaning in an unnecessary or excessive way by using different words to say the same thing.
* The pleonasms followed by an asterisk (*) came from an essay, "The Affluent Rich"; by Nat Boynton in his book, Media Rare. My special thanks to Mr. Jerry Gordon for contributing a copy of the essay so I could go through it and pick out the "UR's" (Unnecessary Redundancies) or pleonasms.
Please contribute any pleonasms you may come across from any of the media and let's make this list even more significant as it expands. You may send your suggestion, or suggestions, to e-mail contact or use this e-mail address: [email protected]
This practice may have been a result of expressing English documents with a mixture of Anglo-Saxon and French, or Latin terms.
When early writers weren't sure if both designations had the same meaning, or that others might not have a clear understanding of the French or Latin, they apparently included terms from both the Anglo-Saxon and the "foreign"; words side by side, just to be sure others understood what was meant. This is according to David Crystal in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language.
Pleonasms are the opposites (antonyms) of oxymora. A pleonasm consists of two concepts (usually two words) that are redundant. What does "redundant" mean? Well, how about "more than enough; overabundant; excessive; and superfluous"?
Still having a problem understanding what pleonasm means? Some pleonastic expressions are also known as tautologies. Tautology means, "needless repetition of an idea in a different word, phrase, or sentence; redundancy; pleonasm". All right, what about pleonasm? Well, it means, "the use of more words than are necessary for the expression of an idea; redundancy".
So it is that we go around in circles: pleonasm means tautology, which means redundancy, which means pleonasm, which means tautology, ad infinitum.
Also see the unit of pleio-, plio- words meaning, "more, most; excessive; multiple".