11. Pleonasms & Tautonyms

Posted: 2013 年 11 月 22 日 in Logology
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Pleonasm refers to the use of more words than are necessary to convey meaning.

  1. Idioms: safe haven, tuna fish

  2. Legalese: null and void, each and all, cease and desist

  3. Ignorance of acronyms: ABM missile (antiballistic missile missile)

  4. Ignorance of foreign terms: a cappella without musical instruments

Exercise: Explain why the following pleonasms appear redundant

  1. a known carcinogen suspected of causing cancer

  2. A.M. in the morning

  3. absolutely necessary

  4. ATM machine

  5. autobiography of my life

  6. constant nagging

  7. dead corpse

  8. free gift

  9. join together

  10. not sufficient enough

  11. old custom

  12. original source

  13. past experience

  14. PIN number

  15. top priority

  16. unexpected surprise

  17. unhealthy sickness

  18. unsolved mystery

  19. wall mural

  20. water hydrant


A tautonym result when a word or name consisting of two identical parts, such as murmur. Although most tautonyms are un-English in etymology, meaning, and appearance, the most familiar ones to us are usually hyphenated and consist of recognizable English, such as fifty-fifty and twenty-twenty. In addition, tautonyms are prohibited in botanical nomenclature, but they have been used in biological nomenclature to describe a genus and a species, such as Bison bison.

  1. beriberi

  2. choo-choo

  3. so-so

  4. tom-tom

  5. zoozoo

Similarly, an internal tautonym is a word that has a tautonym within it, such as nonsense.

  1. assassin

  2. barbarous

  3. Chihuahua

  4. Mississippi

  5. singing

  6. stomachache



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