Austin Powers famously stumbled over his introduction: Allow myself to introduce myself.
Hilarious to be sure, but the rest of us non-comedic secret agents need to stop using a plethora of redundant phrases.
Why these phrases became so commonplace is probably due to a desire for additional emphasis.
That, or perhaps they are just mistakes that stuck around?
An example: a result became an end result, which in the speakers mind carried more weight. It’s actually more proper to leave result as the outcome of a process and use interim result for milestone outcomes. And thats just the tip of the iceberg. Here are a bunch more, but don’t think that this is an exhaustive list…
|Redundant phrase||Notes||Suggested alternative|
|Law and order||With the TV show(s) bearing this name, it’s unlikely that this phrase will disappear.||Simply “law” or “order” would suffice.|
|Assault and battery||There may be a distinction between the words in the legal profession, but they mean the same thing.||“Assault” is sufficient.|
|Null and void||Computer scientists differentiate these terms, but in most cases they’re the same.||Usually heard in “rendered null and void,” in which case “void” is just fine.|
|Safe and sound||Commonly used and also likely to stick around.||“Safe” is just fine.|
|First and foremost||Particularly obvious in its redundancy.||“First” is sufficient, though “foremost” is a nice alternative.|
|Trials and tribulations||A galling cliché as well as being redundant.||Be aware that “tribulations” usually has Biblical connotations, so pick the one word that works best.|
|Kith and kin||An old-fashioned phrase not heard much these days.||“Kin” refers to one’s friends and family; so does “kith,” though it’s much less common.|
|Peace and quiet||Okay, this one is so commonplace that to rail against it is useless.||Use one or the other (or just use this redundant phrase).|
|Cease and desist||Another phrase that likely has a distinct legal meaning.||“Cease” is more commonly used alone. But, yeah, this is “correct lawyerish”.|
|For all intents and purposes||A very common redundant phrase.||“For all intents” or “serves the same purpose”|
|Various different||As with the “end result” example, this one probably sprang from a desire for additional emphasis.||Stick with “various” or “different,” not both; e.g., “various opportunities are available…” and “they offer different varieties…”|
|True fact||Facts are, by definition, true.||Just the “fact”s, ma’am.|