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Old 12-17-2012, 01:31 PM   #1
sr71plt
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Redundant Expressions

A new series of posts on yet another writers'/editors' aid in effective, concise, crisp writing. These are redundancies a writer should try to avoid--in the U.S. style system. The element that should be dropped is in italics. As with so much, of course, these may purposely be used in dialogue to help reveal character.

Also, there could be a reason why the reduncy is needed in a particular case. It's something that should be scrutinized, though, to determine whether it is needed.

Adjectives, Adverbs/ and Nouns:

absolute necessity
active consideration
advance reservation

baffling enigma
both alike

Capitol building
close proximity
complete monopoly
completely surround
component parts
conclusive proof

doctorate degree

eliminate entirely
enclosed herewith
end result
equal halves
exact same

final outcome
free gift
future plans
future occurrence

general rule
great majority

important essentials
invited guest

might possibly
more superior
mutual cooperation
mutually agreeable

new initiatives
new innovations
new recruit

old adage

past history
personal opinion
personally reviewed
positive identification
proposed plan

really dangerous
root cause

self-confused
serious crisis
single unit
surrounding circumstances

temporary reprieve
temporary loan

unsubstantiated rumor
untimely death (unless you really, really didn't like the person)
usual custom

weather conditions
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Old 12-18-2012, 02:42 PM   #2
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Prepositional Phrases (element that might be dropped is in italics):

6 a.m. in the morning
red in color
rectangular in shape
large in size
heavy in weight
brief in duration
few in number
classified into groups
depreciated in value
estimated at about
filled to capacity
last of all
plan in advance
smile on his face
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:37 AM   #3
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One I've come to despise is a 'newsism'.

"Our reporter is there, on the ground."

I've never heard on the bus, or in a plane, or cowering behind a stone wall.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:07 PM   #4
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Verb Extras (element that might be dropped is in italics):

assemble together
attached hereto
cancel out
connect up
continue on
enclosed herein
face up to
follow after
hurry up
joined together
lift up
made out of
merge together
penetrate into
study up
termed as
visit with
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:05 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RodenAddison View Post
One I've come to despise is a 'newsism'.

"Our reporter is there, on the ground."

I've never heard on the bus, or in a plane, or cowering behind a stone wall.
I hate it when the news anchor cuts to a colleague standing outside in the rain, snow or close to heavy traffic to say something that could have been said more clearly in the studio. I can understand it for reporting on disasters such as floods or rail crashes when the pictures add to the story but I have seen too many unnecessary outside broadcasts.

Why does a reporter have to stand outside 10 Downing Street or close to the Houses of Parliament to speak about a political issue when nothing is happening in the background? They could have a stock shot of either place as a still background if they want to have a scene that is not just a talking head.

A worse example is commentary on underwater nature films. What is the point of recording a speech from a diver breathing through a mouthpiece when later dubbing could convey the information much more effectively?
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oggbashan View Post
Why does a reporter have to stand outside 10 Downing Street or close to the Houses of Parliament to speak about a political issue when nothing is happening in the background? They could have a stock shot of either place as a still background if they want to have a scene that is not just a talking head.
It isn't something they just made up as a good idea. Their consumer studies showed that watchers felt they were more authoritative by being on the scene and also that the viewers preferred shifting visuals backing up the points to unrelieved talking head. I'm pretty sure their studies reached correct conclusions as far as the comparative size of audience they'd get.
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Old 12-20-2012, 03:06 PM   #7
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"Repeat after Me!" Phrases (element that might be dropped is in italics):

any and all
exact same
just exactly
new all-time record high
today's modern manager
unless and until (one or the other; both not needed)
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:00 PM   #8
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Prefixes, Suffixes (element that might be dropped is in italics):


irregardless
to the westward
unrelentless
upcoming
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:30 PM   #9
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He shrugged his shoulders.

What else is he going to shrug?
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:51 PM   #10
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Bumping to the front
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:27 PM   #11
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Bump!
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:21 AM   #12
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Not a redundancy as such but it gets right up my nose

Quite unique, very unique or even most unique.
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Old 05-22-2013, 11:16 AM   #13
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I got up out of bed.
I rose up
i fell down
Even in general writing one can say things such as "The warning light on the instrument panel behind the steering wheel." Sentences such as this can make a story very long. I read this kind of stuff al the time. I like concise.
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Old 05-22-2013, 12:55 PM   #14
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I had already mentioned it, but one that just about everyone uses is "upcoming." You don't "downcome" and "overcome" has an entirely different meaning. Coming already gives you the direction. No need to say it twice. But nearly everyone does.
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Old 05-25-2013, 12:06 AM   #15
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How about "A genuine imitation."

I will add "cowering behind a stone wall" when bullets are flying seems like a reasonable place to be.

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Old 05-25-2013, 10:23 AM   #16
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Some of these is where to me the "rules" and how people speak, and write vary.

"Sitting there with a smile on his face."

Yes, I know, where else would a smile be(unless its a red one beneath his chin)

But fact is that is how people speak, and I think it flows well and sounds good,

"He was sitting there with a big ole smile on his face."

Maybe a few extra words but so what?

If someone were to write a novel going entirely "by the rules" it would read as stilted, boring and as if it were written by a computer program.

Redundancy in the examples given here(well a good many as some are stupid and I've never read them anywhere, so who uses them, who knows?) for the most part is not really going to turn anyone off except for the very anal.

There is a fine line between following the rules and believable thought/speaking processes. Especially if you're writing in first person, because anyone speaking one hundred percent grammatically correct would sound like Mr. Spock.
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Old 05-25-2013, 11:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sr71plt View Post
A new series of posts on yet another writers'/editors' aid in effective, concise, crisp writing. These are redundancies a writer should try to avoid--in the U.S. style system. The element that should be dropped is in italics. As with so much, of course, these may purposely be used in dialogue to help reveal character.

Also, there could be a reason why the reduncy is needed in a particular case. It's something that should be scrutinized, though, to determine whether it is needed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecraft68 View Post
Some of these is where to me the "rules" and how people speak, and write vary.

"Sitting there with a smile on his face."

Yes, I know, where else would a smile be(unless its a red one beneath his chin)

But fact is that is how people speak, and I think it flows well and sounds good,

"He was sitting there with a big ole smile on his face."

Maybe a few extra words but so what?

If someone were to write a novel going entirely "by the rules" it would read as stilted, boring and as if it were written by a computer program.

Redundancy in the examples given here(well a good many as some are stupid and I've never read them anywhere, so who uses them, who knows?) for the most part is not really going to turn anyone off except for the very anal.

There is a fine line between following the rules and believable thought/speaking processes. Especially if you're writing in first person, because anyone speaking one hundred percent grammatically correct would sound like Mr. Spock.
I highlighted two points SR made in his initial post.
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Old 05-25-2013, 01:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MistressLynn View Post
I highlighted two points SR made in his initial post.
So no one else can express it? I wasn't quoting or "speaking" to him. Just making a point. If every thread stopped when one person made a point most wouldn't go past 4/5 posts.
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Old 05-25-2013, 04:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovecraft68 View Post
So no one else can express it? I wasn't quoting or "speaking" to him. Just making a point. If every thread stopped when one person made a point most wouldn't go past 4/5 posts.
Or it could be that I was just reinforcing your comments as valid points.
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:35 PM   #20
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Or maybe you just spoiled his backbiting.
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:59 AM   #21
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Silly little observation, but I've never seen or heard anyone say baffling enigma except Batman. Yes I am talking the 60's show where every punch was either baf or pow.

Hey do not look at me like that, I'm not that old but it was shown fairly often when I was growing up so I have seen it.

I even remember the line. "Another baffling enigma from E. Nigma." It was said often I think, or they played the same episode often.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:08 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blulilacgrl View Post
He shrugged his shoulders.

What else is he going to shrug?
off his coat?
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Old 05-26-2013, 05:19 AM   #23
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Bad geronimo no treat for you.

One never needs to say shrugged his shoulders. You either shrug, or shrug out of his coat.

If there is nothing but shoulders to shrug, you just need shrug. Anything else sounds like you are talking to a two year old and nobody should want to read that. Oddly they seem to be upset that I don't write that way, but well I suppose I collect the morons to complain about my stories.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:31 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emap View Post
Bad geronimo no treat for you.

One never needs to say shrugged his shoulders. You either shrug, or shrug out of his coat.

If there is nothing but shoulders to shrug, you just need shrug. Anything else sounds like you are talking to a two year old and nobody should want to read that. Oddly they seem to be upset that I don't write that way, but well I suppose I collect the morons to complain about my stories.
ah, well *shrug*
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Old 05-26-2013, 07:34 PM   #25
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