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Pleonasm (Greek πλεονασμος, "excess") was defined by Fowler as "the using of more words than are required to give the sense intended". It is very common in certain kinds of English.

Examples of pleonasm

(With suggested corrections)

The first examples are known as vicious pleonasms because they are so obvious, with one word completely subsuming another, often adjacent.

  • Free gift
    • Gift

  • Ascend up
    • Ascend
    • Go up

  • He was soliloquizing to himself
    • He was talking to himself
    • He was soliloquizing

  • I additionally also think that...
    • I also think that...
    • Additionally, I think that...

The following is less vicious.

  • The sound of the loud music drowned out the sound of the burglarization.
    • The loud music drowned the sound of the burglary.

See also:

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