Saturday, April 23, 2011 | By: Karen Bishop

Redundancy in Writing - Are You Guilty?

I'm not quite sure why this word popped into my head when I was searching for the perfect R word for this blog post. It was just...there, and plunged its roots into fertile soil refusing to leave until I wrote about it. As a writer, sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

Redundancy is a funny sounding word, at least to me. The word dunce is in there too. I think it may exist in this perfect word to remind us not to be a dunce and use redundant phrases in our writing. Redundancy is a phrase of two or more words that repeats itself. People in general tend to use many redundant phrases, but as writers we must be on the lookout for redundancy that turns concise writing into a long, painful read for others. Sometimes redundancy is appropriate if you're writing poetry, haikus or limericks. My focus today is on when not to use the dreaded redundant phrases.

"What time is it?", "It's 12 noon." Let's see, the sun is high in the sky, temperatures are rocketing up to 90 something and it's 12 noon. Well of course it is! At 12 midnight it's cooler by at least two degrees, but you can transport yourself among the stars to cool off. I bet you can pick the redundancies in the above pretty easily.

We'll take redundancy up a step and refer back to the definition, a phrase that repeats itself. Personally, I feel if days were shorter in length I'd be a much happier person. I love winter because of the short amount of time the sun is in the sky. I've always suspected I was part vampire. The end result of shorter days is a happier me.

Who gives away free gifts? Do you pack basic essentials when you go on a trip? In the event that the plane may crash, she is a person who will sit in close proximity to the nearest exit. The rock was of particular interest to the plane watching boy. He liked to examine each and every rock he came across before deciding whether it was worth keeping or not.

Watch for sneaky redundant phrases and banish them to regions unknown before they take over and ruin all your hard work.


NiaRaie said...

I'm pretty sure that i am redundant in my writing, so I always try to think of fresh concepts, words, and interesting characters.

Amanda Trought said...

Great post, lovely visiting your blog...I have been made redundant 3 times but always saw it as stepping into pastures new! Have a blessed week. Amanda

Amanda - Realityarts-Creativity
Art Blog

Tracey said...

I've noticed I tend to use the same words and phrases repeatedly in my writing. I'm glad I started writing more because I honestly never really noticed it before.

Sarah Allen said...

Haha :) Ah, redundancy. Yeah, I try to keep myself concious of phrases I over use, etc, and keep them out of the writing. A few get by, but thats what editing is for, right?

Sarah Allen
(my creative writing blog)

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Here's to making it this far, congratulations! I have an award for you!!

Poddys said...

I almost certainly have some redundancy in my articles.