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Actual fact? Repeat again!

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Nov 16

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Saying the same thing twice in different words is not only redundant but also grammatically incorrect. Such phrases or word chunks are known as tautologies. They are also simply called redundancies because the repeated word is no longer needed or useful.

Let’s look at some common tautologies in our speech: ‘repeat again’, ‘actual fact’ and ‘cancel out’.

Repeat again

Repeat: To say or do something that has already been said or done again.

Again: This is an adverb which means once more.

Therefore, what makes ‘repeat again’ a tautology is the use of the word ‘again’, and hence ‘again’ becomes redundant.

What are the alternatives to ‘repeat again’?

  1. say again
  2. repeat
  3. restate
  4. reiterate
  5. go through again
  6. run through again

Actual fact 

‘Actual’ means ‘existing in fact or real’ and ‘fact’ means ‘a thing that is known or proved to be true’. So once you use ‘actual’, it’s redundant to use the word ‘fact’ or vice versa.

You can say, instead, ‘This is a fact/This is the truth’.

Here are some more alternatives: ‘This is the ……. rule’.

  1. actual
  2. basic
  3. cardinal
  4. golden
  5. fundamental

What about ‘cancel out’?

We’ll just consider one meaning of ‘cancel’: to cross out, especially with lines. This definition makes the word ‘out’ redundant, and it must be cancelled out.

You can say:

  1. strikethrough
  2. cancel
  3. cross out
  4. erase (if you used a pencil in writing)
  5. expunge
  6. delete (if you typed)

Avoid these tautologies because, although minute, they make your communication less effective.

Posted by : Sharmila Gautama

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