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Bald-headed to Burning Embers
A pleonasm, also known as a redundant expression, is the use of more words than necessary to express an idea. As writers, that is something we don't want to do. You may be surprised to discover just how many pleonasms are at use in our everyday language. In this article, we'll look at redundant expressions from bald-headed to burning embers. The first example sentence will use the redundant expression, the second sentence will not have a pleonasm.
bald-headed - Bald-headed is defined as lacking hair on all or most of the scalp. Bald is defined as little or no hair on your head. It isn't incorrect to say bald-headed, but just the word bald will get your meaning across.
We were told to watch for a bald-headed man that had a scar in the shape of an anchor on his right cheek.
We were told to watch for a bald man that had a scar in the shape of an anchor on his right cheek.
balsa wood - Balsa is a very soft and light wood that is mostly used to make model ships and airplanes. Oak wood isn't said, neither is walnut wood or maple wood. So why would you want to say balsa wood?
I bought the little boy next door an airplane made out of balsa wood for his birthday.
I bought the little boy next door an airplane made our of balsa for his birthday.
BASIC code - BASIC is an acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.
BASIC code consists of a bunch of programming codes for the computer.
BASIC consists of a bunch of programming codes for the computer.
basic fundamentals or basic essentials - Both fundamentals and essentials are the basic, most needed parts of something, so the word basic does not need to be used with them.
Marcus had memorized all of the basic fundamentals of algebra, so the class was a breeze for him.
Marcus had memorized all the fundamentals of algebra, so the class was not a problem for him.
One needs to concentrate on the basic esssentials rather than the details.
One needs to concentrate on the essentials rather than the details.
best ever - When somethingis described as being the best, it is of the highest quality and nothing better can be obtained. No other word needs to be added to specify what is already being said.
This is the best ever chocolate cake!
This is the best chocolate cake!
biography of his (or her) life - A biography is a book that one person writes about someone else's life.
A biography of his life was written by a famous author.
His biography was written by a famous author.
blend together - When you blend liquids or dry ingredients, you are combining them.
The recipe says to blend together the liquid ingredients.
The recipe says to blend the liquid ingredients.
blood hemorrhage - A hemorrhage is an excessive discharge of blood.
When her spleen began to blood hemorrhage, the doctors rushed her into surgery.
When her spleen began to hemorrhage, the doctors rushed her into surgery.
boat marina - A marina is a small area of land beside the water that is meant to be a place where boats are parked.
The boat marina was broken into last night.
The marina was broken into last night.
bouquet of flowers - I wasn't sure about this one. I mean, you could receive a bouquet of balloons. But when I looked up the word bouquet, I found that its definition of is a bunch of flowers.
Marla received a bouquet of flowers from the grateful student.
Marla received a bouquet from the grateful student.
both men and women alike - Wow. I would compare this saying that both apples and oranges alike are fruit. How much easier to say that apples and oranges are fruit.
Both men and women alike went on the camping trip.
Men and women went on the camping trip.
brief in duration - If a meeting is brief, then it doesn't last very long. Anything that is brief takes place for only a short period of time.
The anatomy class was surprisingly brief in duration.
The anatomy class was surprisingly brief.
brief moment - Is there any other kind of moment?
The manager asked me to wait for a brief moment.
The manager asked me to wait for a moment.
brief summary - A summary is a brief account of something.
The manager is giving a brief summary of our last meeting.
The manager is giving a summary of our last meeting.
burning embers - Embers are pieces of coal, wood, paper, or whatever else comes from the fire that is still burning or they are the smoldering remains of a fire. Anyway, embers are always burning.
Please make sure there are no burning embers left from your campfire before you go to bed.
Please make sure there are no embers left from your campfire before you go to bed.
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lisa Binion. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Lisa Binion for details.
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