Are you saying the same thing twice: tautology?

This morning I heard a law firm radio advert that referred to “new beginnings”. I’ve heard this advert several times and every time it irritates me! Isn’t a beginning the start of something new?

Definition of tautology:

Needless repetition of the same sense in different words; redundancy.

Marketers and journalists are frequently guilty of using tautology. It’s an easy trap to fall into when trying to emphasise a point and many phrases have become so commonplace that we don’t even realise our mistake.

We’ve had a brainstorm and come up with a list of commonly used tautologies. I’m sure, like us,  you’re guilty of using one or two of these!

  • 10 common tautologies
  • New innovation
  • Short summary
  • Joint collaboration
  • Very unique
  • Positive improvement
  • Past experience
  • Safe haven
  • Advance planning
  • Close scrutiny
  • Free gift

It’s easy to slip these phrases in to your copywriting without realising. Probably only the grammar pedants will notice but if you’re seeking to portray a professional image then it’s worth checking your copy and avoiding redundant words. As we often say to our clients “less is more”.

Would you like to add any tautologies to the list? Please comment below.

Right, we’re off to do a quick check of our website…

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