5 Types of Redundancy

By Mark Nichol

Various words and phrases serve to communicate what a word or phrase refers to or herald to a reader that additional information is forthcoming or a comparison is being made, but writers sometimes make the mistake of unnecessarily employing more than one of these indicators at once. The following five sentences illustrate an array of redundancies. Discussions and revisions follow each erroneous sentence.

1. Many of them are between the ages of 15 and 35 years old.

“The ages of” and “years old” serve the same purpose—to identify what the numbers 15 and 35 signify—so use one or the other: “Many of them are between 15 and 35 years old” or “Many of them are between the ages of 15 and 35.”

2. Despite differences between millennials and Generation Z, both share the same workplace learning needs.

Both and share have the same function; they indicate that there is something in common. Either write “Despite differences between millennials and Generation Z, they share the same workplace learning needs,” or start the main clause with “both have” and detail the specifics.

3. In addition, financial institutions should also consider having teams that provide oversight at regional or global levels.

Also is redundant to “in addition,” so use one or the other: “In addition, financial institutions should consider having teams that provide oversight at regional or global level” or “Financial institutions should also consider having teams that provide oversight at regional or global levels.”

4. He hosted an educational television program from 1993 to 1998, and he also wrote several books on scientific topics.

And indicates that additional information is forthcoming, so also is extraneous: “He hosted an educational television program from 1993 to 1998, and he wrote several books on scientific topics.” (Another option is to slightly simplify the sentence: “He hosted an educational television program from 1993 to 1998 and wrote several books on scientific topics.” Alternatively, also can be retained if and is deleted, which requires, however, that a semicolon supplant the comma: “He hosted an educational television program from 1993 to 1998; he also wrote several books on scientific topics.”)

5. His account was bolstered by Jones, who, like Smith, also relies on communications with a network of family and acquaintances still in the city.

Like indicates that Jones shares a characteristic with Smith, so also is superfluous: “His account was bolstered by Jones, who, like Smith, relies on communications with a network of family and acquaintances still in the city.”

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1 Response to “5 Types of Redundancy”

  • venqax

    If we said “5 Types of Kinds of Redundancy” we’d have had six.

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