You Were Saying . .
Every few years, certain phrases take hold in conversation and the media. Phrases that, typically, are inaccurate, ungrammatical, redundant, nonsensical — or all of the above. Some recent examples:
1. “The reason why…” Saying both “the reason” and “why” is redundant: “The reason I went to bed is because I was tired,” has the same meaning as “The reason why I went to bed is because I was tired.” Adding “why” is superfluous.
2. “The exact same…” If something is the “same,” adding “exact” is redundant. Something either is the same or it is not; there are no degrees of “same.”
Why these two examples suddenly have become prevalent is a mystery.
And then there are the old standards: Homonymns: e.g., mistaking the word “discrete” for “discreet,” “compliment” for “complement,” and “principle” for “principal.” Not only do newspaper editors make these errors on a daily basis, but they crop up almost as often in ad copy and even in books — especially in e-books. One despairs.
Copyright 2012 Daniel Steven