Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Tautology – Wordplay Wednesday™ 02/26/2020

Seedless, Heedless, Needless … One of Them Applies 

One makes some foods easier to eat. Another makes us wonder whatever happened to society’s common sense. All great subjects ripe for review; however, this week, we’re talking about writers’ bad habits …

TAUTOLOGY (tô täʹɘ jē) n. – 1-a) needless repetition of an idea in different words, redundancy, pleonasm (Ex.: “necessary essentials,” b) an instance of such repetition; 2) Logic: a proposition that is analytic (sense 5). [WW #257] [Look for this accompanying word as next week’s Wordplay.]

Yep, I have found myself guilty of tautology at times. Most of us are … “free giveaway” … comes easily to mind. We are either in too much of a hurry to properly edit, or perhaps it’s done purposely to over-emphasize a point. Of course, that doesn’t make it right.

A few more fun examples: "I want to live while I am alive." Bon Jovi (“It’s My Life”; 2000) … “I made this for you with my own hands” … and my personal favorite, the ever popular … “It is what it is.” Of course, that last one is a colloquialism, so manages to escape the usual scrutiny, but still makes a great, recognizable example.
Is this common phrase an example of tautology? “Fresh produce” … I suppose it could be wilted, but …  

They sneak into your writing when you least expect it, and often remain undetected as you publish. Even if not “true” forms of tautology, perhaps a more effective rewrite is still in order. At least now, you know what it is when someone calls you on it!  

Word Challenge: TAUTOLOGY. Be creative, but conscientious, as you fit tautology into your week of fresh writings.

Learning knows no prejudices or boundaries, and it isn’t fattening! Expanding your mind is a no-cost, simple joy. Do you feel that way too? What’s your inspiration? Share your creative genius and Wordplay Wednesday comments below.

Write first for yourself … only then can you write for others. (L.Rochelle) 

[LinDee Rochelle is a writer and editor by trade, and an author by way of Rock & Roll. She has published two books in her Blast from Your Past series (of three) about pioneering R&R Radio DJs. True behind-the-mic tales make GREAT Holiday and anytime Gifts available on Amazon (eBook and print): Book 1Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The First Five Years 1954-1959; and Book 2Rock & Roll Radio DJs: The Swinging Sixties. Coming soon … The Psychedelic Seventies!]

*Note: 1) Dictionary definitions are quoted from Webster’s New World College Dictionary. Yes, we sometimes present them out of “official” context—but that’s half the fun! Think of it as “creative context.” 2) Neither I (LinDee Rochelle) nor Penchant for Penning are responsible for how you use information found here, that may result in legal action.
Endnote: FYI – All links in the PFP site are personally visited, verified, and vetted. Most are linked to commonly accessed sites of reputable note. However, as with everything cyber-security, use at your own discretion.


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