BITS and Pieces

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Repeat again, would you?

Have you ever been asked to “repeat something again” or to “combine something together” or then heard someone talk about their “future plans”, been promised a “free gift” or asked to withdraw money from an “ATM Machine”?

Do you see what I see? “Repeat”, for example, includes the meaning of the word “again”, one can never “combine something apart”, we can never plan for our past, a gift is always free and the “M” in “ATM” stands for “Machine”.

Welcome to the world of redundancies. And it’s not just people; even we are probably guilty of using a few every now and then. So what are redundancies and why do people use them and what’s wrong in using them?

Well, redundancies are basically the use of two or more words that say the same thing. No one really knows why people use redundancies, but it would be safe to say that, for the most part, these are used inadvertently.

Although people might hardly notice the redundancies in your speech, a text infested with redundancies is sure to reduce the impact it would have created on the reader.

So what is the solution? Avoiding redundancies is fortunately easy. If you go through a comprehensive list, you will see which ones you are mostly guilty of. Then, it is only a matter of remembering not to use them.

Here is a very good compilation of the 200 most common redundancies in English

And oh yes, even if you feel incomplete, it is perfectly all right to say “please repeat what you said”, “please combine the two”, “if you buy our product, you will get a gift” or “please withdraw money from the ATM.” 🙂

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Sandeep Nulkar Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, BITS Private Limited Sandeep Nulkar heads one of India’s largest translation and localisation companies. He is a linguist by passion, businessman by choice and author by circumstances. Over the past decade, he has been working closely with the corporate world and with students and the academia to bring credibility and recognition to the Indian translator within and outside India.