What is tautology?

Wikipedia defines tautology well:

In grammar, a tautology (from Greek tauto, “the same” and logos, “word/idea”) is an unnecessary repetition of meaning, using more than one word effectively to say the same thing (often originally from different languages). It is considered a fault of style and was defined by A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (Fowler) as “saying the same thing twice”, when it is not apparently necessary to repeat the entire meaning of a phrase. “Fatal murder” is an example of a tautology. If a part of the meaning is repeated in such a way that it appears as unintentional, or clumsy, then it may be described as tautological. On the other hand, a repetition of meaning that improves the style of a piece of speech or writing is not necessarily tautological.

Tautology is usually used in error and here are some example sentences:

He went there personally.
The evening sunset was golden.
My first priority is to quit smoking.
There is a lot of frozen ice in winter.
I heard the story with my own ears.
Scientists like making predictions about the future.
The hospital is in close proximity to the school.
The Sahara is a very dry desert.
In my opinion, I think she is right.
Having an eye test is a necessary requirement for passing the driving test.
She is a dark-haired brunette.
He wrote an autobiography of his own life.

Leave your email and never miss another post



Welcome to Bridger Jones!

Experience our unique double editing and proofreading service.

For access to our full set of services, please login or register.

WeChat ID: bridgerjonesdotcom