We have all clawed our way through the weeds of redundancy: at this point in time, past history, final ending, burning hot fire, and many more. The only thing they do is stall getting to the point. They do not make one’s writing more descriptive, graceful, or elegant.
- I was a concise writer until that point in time.
- He paid for that bouncy house with cash money.
- They quickly ran as fast as they could.
It is no surprise that water is wet, for example, so why saddle your prose with that redundancy? Instead, use your words to convey the characteristic of its wetness rather than to repeat that it is wet: Water can ooze, splash, drip, pour, and cascade right off the page in your readers’ minds. You needn’t write “unexpected surprise” because all surprises are unexpected, and “pretenses” don’t need to be identified as “false.” Pay for that bouncy house in cash.
MORE TO KNOW
This type of redundancy is called a pleonasm, which means “the use of more words than necessary.” Common in academia and business alike, pleonasms offer the illusion of clarification without actually clarifying anything. A redundancy simply takes up space rather than adding elegance.