While it may sound like a scholarly accolade, what they are really saying is that you are too verbose!
To me, “pleonasm” sounds like a medical condition, but it’s actually is a term derived from the Greek meaning “too much”, and describes the instances when more words are used than necessary to express a thought. Pleonasms are also known as “redundant phrases.”
As a professional freelance copywriter, I regularly face the challenge of turning 100 words into 50, or 50 into 25. Eliminating pleonasms, or redundant phrases, is one way to do this quickly. Even though I always aim to write succinctly, I’ve occasionally edited some of the most popular pleonasms out of my own writing, and I suspect, maybe you have too! Look out for these little superfluous gems that can put you over the allowed word count and character limit in your daily on and off-line writing! Here are some of the most commonly used, equally unnecessary, pleonasms.
Have you caught yourself writing any of these? If so, it’s time to edit!
A.M in the morning
Ask the question
Round in shape
Spell out in detail
Surrounded on all sides
Tall in stature
Visible to the eye
Warn in advance
If you’re like me, you may find yourself saying these things more than writing them. Thank goodness we don’t have a word limit on our speech by the end of the day! But getting in the habit of getting along without pleonasms in your life can make your communication the best, and most succinct, it can be.
Do you have a favorite pleonasm? Share it with me. And if you need help eliminating those pleonasms from your own marketing communication efforts, I can help. Contact me today.