Writing Style – Redundant Phrases

Klaus’s question: “Every morning I hear an announcer on the radio broadcast what is upcoming by stating ‘coming up in a moment’s time … .’ Is this grammatically correct?”

BizWritingTip response: Your announcer is being redundant. I would call his phrase a doublet. A moment is a short period of time. Therefore, he is actually saying in a short period of time of time. He really should say: “coming up in a moment is … .”

There are two other doublets I find irritating. The first is “current status.” Status means the current state of affairs. Does the writer or speaker really mean to imply “what is currently happening currently”? Why can’t we just use “status” by itself?

Or how about “in my past experience”? How many experiences have you had that were not gained from your past?

Are there any other redundant phrases that bother you?


2 replies
  1. Argha
    Argha says:

    I would disagree with you there, Jane. Status doesn’t necessarily contain in itself a time bound: it refers to a state, absolute or relative, without considering the temporal aspect of said state. The phrase ‘status quo’ would, however, establish a time frame.

    • Jane Watson
      Jane Watson says:

      I agree with your definition, Argha. However, when writing in the business world I believe current status is redundant. If I give you the status of a project, it is what is true now. Adding the additional word “current” does not change or add to the message.


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