Redundancy Alert (Or ‘One More Reason Why Adele’s Song “Someone Like You” Drives Me Mad’)

Just for fun (Remember, we all have different ways of making our own fun.) I keep a list on my iPhone of all the redundancies I bump into: in conversation, via television or radio, on the web. As I appear to have reached a moment of critical mass, I thought I would share some of my favorites with you. The below list begins with charming/amusing, graduates to grating, and, ends with that which makes my ears bleed:


“Gazpacho soup”: Last week, a restaurant near my house proudly proclaimed they had “gazpacho soup”, and I thought to myself, “I guess this is opposed to Minestrone Soup or Vichyssoise Soup… or not” “Soup” to me is a necessary inclusion if it is preceded by “tomato” or “beef” or “spinach”…you take my point.  (This made me almost as happy as their posting of “Potato ‘Leak’ Soup.” Um…I think I’ll pass)

“Can you repeat again?”: Suffice to say, if something is being repeated, it is sure to have happened once. “Can you repeat?” is enough for me.

Worldwide international conspiracy: I heard this one on the radio and almost regretted my no-phone-use-in-the-car-whatsoever rule. I was longing to call in and inquire how one could have a worldwide national conspiracy.

Grating/Rash Producing:

Proven fact: While I understand the proliferation of political-speak has left many of us feeling the need for this particular redundancy – so many ‘facts’, so few seemingly proven—the fact remains that a fact is, by definition, proven.

Past history: Another favorite of the pundit-set, “past history” is generally used to give additional weight/heft/gravitas (Yes, I’m playing with you) to flimsy/lightweight/insubstantial rhetoric disguised as proven facts.

Please RSVP: As RSVP stands for “Repondez s’il vous plait” and “s’il vous plait” means “if it pleases you ” in French, the addition of ‘please’ to “RSVP” always leaves me wishing to RSVP, “Non, merci”

And, Finally, That Which Makes My Ears Bleed:

“Out of the blue, uninvited” Although I admire Adele’s accomplishment in winning multiple awards with a song accompanied solely by a piano—no big band sounds, guitar solos or special effects required—it also meant that each and every time she announced she had ‘Turned up out of the blue, uninvited” I had no distractions; hence, the bleeding of my ears. And while I get that she needed something to rhyme with “hide it,” if you turn up out of the blue aren’t you, by definition, uninvited???


I look forward to hearing about your favorite redundancies—funny-bone-tickling to spine tingling.

Frances Cole Jones