Manners & Misdemeanors

Repeat Again, Basic Essentials: Redundant Words We Don't Need

When you think about it, a bonus is already added happiness.

Common phrases, unnecessary words. Let’s keep things simple. No need to repeat.
ATM machine

ATM stands for automated teller machine. Spare yourself the effort of saying “machine.” That’s what the acronym is for—communication as fast as the ATM delivers cash.

Repeat again

This phrase is commonly heard in meetings and classes, when someone is either extremely bored or extremely interested as in “Can you repeat that again for the second time?”

“Repeat” already means that the person will do something twice. If you want the person to make a lot of repetitions, just say “Please do that three times!”

Return back

 “Return back” is confusing. Do you mean to say that the person who already had the thing will have it back? Stick with “return,” which already means to give back.

Revert back

Similar to the phrase above, “revert back” does not need the second word. To “revert” is to “go back” or turn something to its original state. Just say: Revert to the single life.

Mental telepathy

Are you a Stranger Things fan whose favorite character is Eleven? Avoid being redundant when naming her powers. She has the capacity for telepathy, a word that means communication with the mind or thought exchange. A lot of mental concepts embedded in the definition.

Basic essentials or important essentials

An essential is an ever-important or basic thing. No need to attach adjectives that are inherent to the word’s definition to emphasize how badly needed essentials are.

Added bonus

We all love a bonus. “Added” makes the bonus all the more exciting, but do away with the dangling word. You may as well use “freebie,” which makes everything sound like a fabulous bargain.

Safe haven

You may use other adjectives as “beautiful” or “faraway” to describe a haven. “Safe” is just a repetition of the definition: a place people go to be away from danger.


Old adage

An adage is a kind of saying that has gained acceptance because of long-term use. An adage has roots. It is old without having to say “old.”

Final outcome

It's better to say: Here is the outcome of the final project. “Final outcome,” though casually accepted as a colloquial phrase in business and science circles, comes off confusing on paper. An outcome can never be not final.

Unexpected surprise

A person lucky enough to have 20 people preparing a secret party for her might be so shocked that a “surprise” becomes even more “unexpected” than it is already. This is why people yell the word. A surprise is something unbeknownst to the receiver.

About The Author
Kwyn Kenaz Aquino
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