Indonesian classes at school teach/taught us different types of figure of speech. One of them is pleonasm, the usage of more words than necessary. ‘Maju ke depan’ is a popular example of pleonasm in Indonesian. This article will be talking about something similar, redundancy.
Some say redundancy can take a pleonasm form; others say pleonasm is a more general classification of redundancy.
How are they different?
Pleonasm generally refers to the using of too many words, while redundancy is using two or more words with the same meaning.
“I listened to their confession with my own ears.” <— this is a pleonasm because in order to listen to something, we use our ears.
“The description is sufficient enough.” <— this is a redundancy because sufficient and enough mean the same. We use only one of them.
Other examples of redundancy:
A pandemic refers to a widespread of a disease on a global level. Use ‘pandemic.’
The prefix re- means ‘back’ or ‘again.’ Saying ‘reread again’ is saying ‘read again again.’ Use ‘reread’ or ‘read again.’
A bonus is something ‘extra,’ something additional. Use ‘bonus.’
‘Proximity’ means ‘close to one’s location.’ Use ‘proximity.’
‘To gather’ means ‘to come together.’ Use ‘to gather’ or ‘to come together.’
End result/final outcome
The words ‘result’ and ‘outcome’ indicate that something has come to an end. Something is final. Adding ‘end’ and ‘final’ to modify ‘result’ and ‘outcome’ is redundant.
We find this phrase a lot in love songs: “My love still remains…”
‘To remain’ means to be still in one place.
Repetition and redundancy
In writing, we also come across ‘repetition,’ that is repeating one word to put emphasis, to make a point, or to add a dramatic, exaggerated effect.
“I could not forgive him. He hurt me over and over and over again.”
However, redundancy is more often shunned than repetition, because not only will it make the sentences unnecessary long, leading to boredom, redundant words or phrases don’t add anything new. They don’t give new information.
This is where proofreading comes in handy, especially if what we’re writing is related to academic or professional aspects of our life. It’s important to find the right balance to avoid being tedious and keep our readers engaged.
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