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]

safe sanctuary *
Sahara desert
Sahara is Arabic for "desert".
SAT test
Scholastic Aptitude Test test
SCSI Interface
Small Computer Systems Interface Interface. A specification for a high-speed computer interface used to connect peripheral devices to a computer.
see with one's own eyes
seedling plant (s) (noun), seeding plants (pl)
A young vegetative organism that starts with germination and then into a sprout: A seedling plant is one that has emerged from its protective seed coat and has developed into a tiny plant at the end of a given period, generally at the end of the first growing season.
serious danger
shape and form
sharp point
shrimp scampi
1. Scampi is shrimp cooked in a very garlicky sauce with lemon.
2. Etymology: from the mid-20th century. From Italian, plural of scampo, a kind of lobster which came from Greek kampē, "bending"; based on the shape of the shrimp.
sin taxes
sink down
situation is calm and quiet
small speck
Some Pleonasms Listed
  • It's deja vu all over again. -Attributed to Yogi Berra

    The term, deja vu, means "a feeling of having experienced something before although in fact it is the first time that it has been experienced".

  • "Smoking can kill you, and if you've been killed, you've lost a very important part of your life." -Attributed to actress, Brooke Shields
  • Lead-lined coffins called a health risk.
  • Census says rich have most of the money. (news item)
  • Cliches are a dime a dozen. . . avoid them like the plague.
  • Cure suggestibility with hypnosis.
  • I've told you a million times, "Don't exaggerate!"
  • Is that a mirage or am I seeing things?
  • It's bad luck to be superstitious.
  • I used to be an agnostic, but now I'm not so sure.
  • Sometimes you can observe a lot just by watching. -Attributed to Yogi Berra
  • Half the lies our opponents tell about us are not true.
  • Football is an incredible game. Sometimes it's so incredible, it's unbelievable. -Tom Landry
  • When large numbers of men are unable to find work, unemployment results. -Calvin Coolidge
  • Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined. -Samuel Goldwyn
  • I never make predictions, especially about the future. -Attributed to Samuel Goldwyn
  • "In the city today, the temperature rose to 105 degrees. This sudden rise of temperature was responsible for the intolerable heat."
  • "Trapped, like a trap in a trap." -Dorothy Parker
  • I used to be indecisive, now I'm not sure.
  • He lived his life to the end.
  • Some people are superficial but that's just on the surface.
  • The world is apathetic but I don't care.
  • Always avoid alliteration.
  • Treachery will often bring loyalty into question.
  • Perspective is in the eye of the beholder.
  • "If we do not succeed, we run the risk of failure." -Attributed to former Vice-President Dan Quayle
  • Seen somewhere in the U.S.: "Fish and chips with French fries."

Also see the unit of pleio-, plio- words meaning, "more, most; excessive; multiple".