Career & Education

Stop wasting your breath on these repetitive phrases!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

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We may complain about our parents asking us the same questions over and over, but let's face it: We are all guilty of repetition. Even some of our most everyday language is repetitive. Like “close proximity”. Proximity, by definition, means “nearness in place” so there's no need to say “close proximity”. Here are 10 repetitive phrases on which we should stop wasting our breath. The end result, er, the result is some much-needed succinctness.

basic necessities

Necessities, by nature, are basic. The basics of something involve its most necessary parts.

Both “basic” and “necessity” share concepts of “fundamental, indispensable, core” things. Do we really need to get down to the “core core”? Let's just get straight to it.

unexpected surprise

We all know someone who says they hate surprises. That person probably shakes in their boots when they hear the phrase unexpected surprise.

An unexpected surprise is like a surprise twice-over. The whole point of a surprise is that it's unexpected. And, something unexpected usually comes as a surprise. Neither are seen in advance.

personal opinion

An opinion, at its core, is personal. In fact, we define the very word as “a personal view, attitude, or appraisal”.

To say something is a personal opinion doubles down on the fact that it's not objective, that it's not a fact. We get it: Your thoughts are special. You don't have to repeat yourself!

naan bread

This one concerns something that doesn't come out of our mouths, but goes into them: naan bread.

Naan, or nan, is “an unleavened flatbread whose recipe originated in India”. It originates from a Persian word meaning “bread”.

So, when someone orders naan bread at an Indian restaurant, they're saying “bread bread”. We're down for a double order of naan, but you don't have to repeat yourself to get two pieces.

chai tea

You could pair your naan bread with some chai tea. Sounds delicious, right? We think so, but you also sound super repetitive.

That's right, baristas. Chai tea comes with a double shot of redundancy. Chai means “tea”. In fact, the word tea essentially comes from chai, rooted in the Mandarin Chinese ch'a, which is “tea.”

ATM machine

Acronyms can be tricky. We get so used to them as acronyms that we forget what their letters stand for. Take ATM, for example — that is, if you remember what this machine is and what using actual cash is like.

First developed in the 1960s, the Automated or Automatic Teller Machine, or ATM for short, was invented as a way for people to take out cash without having to see a bank teller.

HTML language

Some of us may have forgotten what ATM stands for. But, some of us may never have known what HTML stands for.

HTML is short for Hypertext Markup Language. Developed in 1989 – 90, HTML is a standard way of formatting text files for making web pages—including this one.

So, similarly to ATM Machine, when someone says something is written in HTML Language, they're saying “Hypertext Markup Language Language”. If you want to show off your computer chops, stick with HTML.

added bonus

What's the definition of added? “Increased the number, quantity, size, or importance.”

What's the definition of bonus? “Something extra or additional.”

Now, put them together: added bonus. That's like saying “extra extra”. Read all about it ...

12 noon

If you ask someone for the time and they say “12 noon” or “12 midnight,” they may know their numbers — but not their words.

Noon is 12 pm. Midnight is 12 am. Twelve noon or midnight is like saying 12-12.

— dictionary.com


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