Grammar time: Avoiding Repetition

#weekly #grammar

This might actually fall under the category of writing tips because some of these phrases are cliches!  I apologize!  Do repetitive phrases waste the reader’s time?  Let’s take a look at some common phrases and see why they are redundant.

  • advance planning:  planning must always be done in advance
  • ask the question:  is there ever anything else that can be asked but a question?
  • assemble together:  a group cannot assemble any other way but together
  • cash money:  cash is money
  • combined together:  just like assemble together, there is no way to combine apart
  • each and every:  as adjectives, these words mean the same thing
  • end result:  results only happen at the end
  • fewer in number:  fewer only refers to numbers
  • large in size:  large denotes size, you don’t need to say “size”
  • mix together:  like combine and assemble, things can only be mixed together
  • month of November:  everyone knows November is a month
  • red in color:  can red be anything other than a color?
  • square in shape:  square is its shape
  • sum total:  if you have a sum, you have a total

Did you notice that many of these phrases are used in every day speech?  I don’t think I’ve ever watched a cooking show where the host hasn’t used the expression “mix together” or “combine together.”  What does that mean for a writer or blogger?  Basically, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to include expressions like these in your writing.  They are grammatically repetitive, yet common in usage.  For example, if you are writing dialogue between two average people, it might be perfectly acceptable to use phrases like these.  Why?  Because that’s how people talk.  On the other hand, if you are writing narrative, you probably want to avoid them.  I hope this is helpful and hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!  Cheers!