Redundancies to Avoid

Last week, we looked at some common redundancies used in fiction. I’ve been asked to add to this list, so here you go.

Note: I’ll place the unnecessary words in bold, so you’ll know what to remove.

Advance warning: If the warning isn’t in advance, it’s not a warning.

Frozen ice: Because ice isn’t normally frozen? Wouldn’t that be water?

Completely engulfed: To engulf means to overwhelm, or flow over and enclose. The only way to do this is “completely”.

-Fly through the air: As opposed to flying through the water?

Final conclusion: If the conclusion isn’t final, it’s not a conclusion.

Suddenly exploded: An explosion is immediate. It can’t be any more sudden than that.

-Plan ahead: When you plan something, it’s for the future, so this is redundant.

-Green (or any color) in color: We know “green” is a color, so there’s no need to tell us. Just say his eyes are green.

Hollow tube: Because most tubes are solid?

-Revert back: To revert means to go back to an earlier state.

-(Number) a.m. in the morning or p.m. in the afternoon: The abbreviations a.m. and p.m. identify the time of day, so there’s no need to add “morning” or “afternoon”. Or, the reverse could be true. You could remove “a.m.” and “p.m.” and write “three in the morning”.

Live witness: Because witnesses are usually dead?

-Pick and choose: Isn’t that the same thing? Select one of these terms and cut the other.

-Reply back: What did you think you were doing when replying? You’re sending a message back.

Three-way love triangle: It wouldn’t be a triangle if more or less people were involved. It would either be a relationship or a huge mess—or a reality TV show.

If you have any redundancies to add, we’d love to hear them.

This is my last post for the year. I hope everyone enjoys their loved ones, hot chocolate, a cozy fire, and some time away from work over the holiday season.

See you January 7, 2014.

UPDATE: Apparently, spam is sneaking into my posts when they’re delivered to your inbox. I’ve updated the plugins and WordPress software, so I hope you won’t see this after today’s post. Please, let me know if you do. Thanks.

Lynnette Labelle

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