We see them all the time: little phrases that are so commonplace in people’s writing that we barely give them a second look. We’ve convinced ourselves that they must be used properly just because of the sheer number of times they appear.
But for some of those little familiar word pairings, there’s a good reason not only to reconsider them, but to remove them from your verbal arsenal altogether.
That’s because they’re redundant phrases that shouldn’t be used at all.
Here’s a list of 10 phrases that you can usually pare to a single word instead of the pairs listed, along with the reasons they’re a problem.
1. Added Bonus
A “bonus” is added to something, so “added bonus” is redundant.
2. Advance Planning
You plan something before you do it, so you’ve already taken care of the “advance” part of it.
3. Completely Destroyed
If something is destroyed, that means it is pulverized, gone. If you manage to “partially destroy” something, you’ve merely “damaged” it.
4. Difficult Dilemma
If it wasn’t already difficult, it wouldn’t be a dilemma.
5. End Result
The result of something always comes at the end.
6. Final Outcome
Same as #5: the outcome is the final part of a situation.
7. False Pretense
A pretense is a false action or appearance that is intended to deceive someone. If it was truth rather than pretense, it’d be a fact.
8. Past History
History refers to the past, not the future.
9. Revert Back
I see this all the time and it drives me crazy: to revert means to “go back”.
10. Very Latest
My colleagues are probably tired of hearing me complain about this one, but if they’d stop saying it, I’d stop complaining. The latest means up-to-date information. As soon as there’s new information on a subject, it becomes “the latest” and whatever had been the latest no longer is.
Which of these annoy you the most? Which ones do you encounter most often?