From the “Department of Redundancy Department”

We hear them all the time in casual conversation. But in commercial messages, redundancies are little leeches that sap copy of its energy. How often have you heard one of these?

  • end result
  • past experience
  • historical era
  • at the present time
  • join together
  • dive down
  • enter into
  • general public
  • honest truth
  • major breakthrough
  • may possibly
  • large in size
  • absolutely essential
  • blend together
  • close scrutiny
  • general consensus
  • new record
  • plan ahead
  • summer season
  • unexpected surprise
  • young boy

For good reason, ad copy sometimes bends the rules, Consider the phrase “free gift.” True, a gift is implicitly free. But consumers forgive this mild trespass when it applies to them. The word free may be the single most potent word in the copywriter’s arsenal.

What redundancies bother you the most in copy? In speech?

One thought on “From the “Department of Redundancy Department”

  1. I certainly agree with avoiding redundancy. I never liked hearing or reading the same words over and over and over again. I personally take great pains to never repeat myself. I don’t like saying the same thing twice. Or three times. Or four. Its like flogging a dead horse. Dead horses are not for flogging. Dead horses don’t respond to flogging. They’re dead. Now where was I… oh yes, lets avoid redundancy at all costs and never repeat ourselves.

What do you think?