An easy way to improve your writing and editing is to remove unnecessary words. A tautology is the use of redundant words. So, tautologies are one form of redundancy that you can remove from your writing (and speaking) – once you are aware of them.
A tautology is the repetition of meaning in two consecutive words, or the needless repetition of an idea. Examples of tautologies include:
- Free gift
- Added bonus
- Adequate enough
- New innovation
- Forward planning
- Short summary
- Unexpected surprise
- Past history
- Reiterate again
- Joint cooperation.
In each of the examples above one of the words can be removed.
For instance, instead of saying, a ‘new innovation’, say an ‘innovation’ – because to innovate it must be new. The word new is redundant and adds no value.
What about a ‘short summary’? Well, if it’s not short it’s not a summary. So, use ‘summary’ only. The word short is redundant.
Or an ‘unexpected surprise’? If the surprise is expected it isn’t a surprise, is it? So, use ‘surprise’. The word unexpected is redundant.
Removing tautologies applies to all types of writing – from tenders to features and everything in between. It will make your writing clearer and prevent it from being redundant and superfluous.