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November 17, 2004

Dumb and dumber


There are a few redundant phrases that are so lodged in popular parlance, they cannot be eradicated even though those who use them, when informed, say "you're right."

The most common of all: "free gift."

You see it everywhere, even in the fastidiously correct Economist.

I wrote their editor and advertising people, but received silence in return.

Tell you what: pay attention the next couple days to offers, and see if you don't come across this phrase.

It's redundant: all gifts - by definition - are free.

Then there's "repeat the procedure again."

I saw that one this morning, for a mouthguard you fit by biting after boiling.

"Again" is implicit in repeating something.

Another one is "continue on."

"On" is redundant.

Remember, bookofjoe is about simplicity.

But not just a slashing, raw reduction.

As Einstein said, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler."

November 17, 2004 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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I would like to have the following phrases outlawed:

"All about"

"So good"

Time to go....

Posted by: johnny deeper | Nov 18, 2004 8:52:45 AM

The common phrase I hate most -- "Point in time". Usually said as "as that point in time", is better expressed as "at that time", or, "at that moment" or "then". "At this point in time..." is better expressed as "currently" or "now". There are no points in time. Points are in space. In three dimensional space, points are commonly specified by three coordinates, in a two dimensional plane, by two coordinates, and on a line by one coordinate. One can talk about what happened at any such point at any given time, (unless one is being really specific as a quantum physicist), but the "point in time" is pure bureaucratic fluffery which seems to date back to the Watergate hearings. Referring to a moment along linear progression: a film, a book being read, or even timeline, one can say "at this point". But "point in time" is always a waste of breath, ink, and time.

Posted by: Thomas Bluhm | Nov 17, 2004 4:22:57 PM

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