Top Menu


Word Redundancies

Word Redundancies

Practitioners in every endeavor or field have tools that are specific to accomplishing their work.

These people use tools with discrimination and, one hopes, effectiveness. A carpenter uses a ball peen hammer and a claw hammer and a club hammer. Each is different and each has a different use. While a carpenter might on occasion, perhaps to save the time to fetch a tool for a very small task, use one of those hammers in an inappropriate way, he will be embarrassed doing so and, if caught, he will make some comment to demonstrate he knows the difference.

As memoir writers, words are our most-used tools. (Other important tools include punctuation, grammar, the visual aspect of a text layout.) Each of our tools, too, ought to be respected for their best use.

A prime way people abuse words is through word redundancies.

best memoir writing coachGet your memoir written more quickly and expertly. A writing coach helps you at every step of the process, pointing you in the right direction and gently correcting your course. An editor helps you scrutinize your manuscript to go deeper and  be more insightful.Which do you need now to write a better memoir? Free consultation. 207-353-5454 or email today.

Here are some examples of word redundancies.

To start off with a clearly ridiculous word redundancy I will cite: dead corpse and round circle. These examples seem clear enough, I hope!

One way to describe word redundancy is to label it as being overprecise in our fumbling attempts to find exact meaning. By this, I mean that a writer will not accept the ability of a word to carry its literal meaning. In his or her doubt, the writer needs to reinforce what does not need to be reinforced.

Here are some more examples of these word redundancies: first started; return back; top, or first, priority. Each of these phrases is weighted with the problem of word redundancies.

1. You can’t have anything but a “first start” otherwise you would have continuation—first is redundant.

2. Return and back are the same concept.

3. If something is not a priority, it is of secondary importance. Have you ever heard anyone say “unimportant priority”? So why should people say “top priority”? (The  issue here is that most people believe that the word priority means something like an important list. It does not. Priority means occupying the first place. Prior in Latin means first in a list. So something either has priority or it does not. All the while, it can remain extremely important—just not the priority.)

4. The problem with first introduced is that introduce has the meaning first build  right into it. (Once you are introduced, you can’t be introduced again—but, you can be reminded who someone or something is, perhaps, but not introduced.)

5. In fact, the use of first is very often redundant. When you write: “When I first heard of __, I was pleased at what I learned, you are adding nothing to meaning. When I heard means the same as when I first heard. Otherwise, you would write When I was reminded of.

6. Other instances of word redundancies are join (combine, unite, etc) together, might (or could) possibly and, of course, I personally.


As writers we need to look at the words and the word phrases we use and respect the power of their meaning—as is.

Scrutinize your writing for word redundancies. I suggest that you make a list. Here’s a site for you to get more info on word redundancies.

What are some of your “favorite” redundancies—the ones that get you whining?



What would happen to the memoir conversation if…

  • …you took a moment to present this informative post to your friends and family by linking this article on your social media? Just a click. It’s so easy.
  • …you reposted this article on your own blog or website? It’s free and you’d both have some valuable content to boost your blog’s reputation and you would be providing your readers with valuable guidance. For the best procedure on how to do this, click here.
  • …you subscribed to our YouTube channel ?

, , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

A gift for you...
...because you need to get your memoir written. This little book will focus you to complete your memoir.
  • Your memoir deserves to be written. We help people get their story down—right!
  • Writing a memoir or want to improve one you're working on? Download Memoir Writing 101: How to Craft a Compelling Memoir or Lifestory / 10 Steps and a Bonus.
  • Memoir Writing 101 comes with The Lifewriter's Guides, a biweekly "workshop in an email.".
  • If you are already a member of The Memoir Network, this e-book and others are available to you free in Member Resources.