Political Punditry Plagued With Redundancies

Redundant langauge at press conferencesUnscripted conversations rarely come off as smoothly or as grammatically correct as do planned remarks.

But those who make their living as political pundits, journalists or candidate representatives should have a pretty good handle on language and how they phrase their comments.

So why are we tuning in to the political commentary of the day and hearing a bounty of redundancies flying over the airwaves?

It’s enough to make your head spin … or at least, it does mine.

For example:

also think those matters should be put in some perspective as well.
We also have reached agreement on the nuclear issue as well.
His opponent could also be in big trouble as well.

also: in addition to
as well as: in addition to

Time will prove it out. (as opposed to prove it in?)
The choices are going to widen out. (as opposed to widen in?)
The conservative grass roots are rising up. (as opposed to rising down?)
We want to give Americans the ability to rise up. (ditto)
We will be able to continue on with the program. (as opposed to continue off with it?)
When you revert back to it, this is what combat is about. (as opposed to reverting forward?)
It got so raucous, organizers had to close the event down. (as opposed to closing it up?)

His past legal history could become an issue in the campaign. (History by definition is something in the past.)
Running a campaign requires a lot of advance planning. (Planning is activity that occurs in advance of something.)
We want to take this opportunity to announce our future plans. (ditto)
Her previous experience is her strongest asset. (Experience implies something that has happened or has been acquired. )
The debate is scheduled for 8 p.m. this evening. (p.m. denotes evening)

Is it just me as a ruthless editor, or do some of you regard these comments as a reflection that makes the speakers sound, if not particularly well-educated or literate, at least unprepared?

Here’s the last batch:

Rand Paul owned his own ophthalmology practice. (as opposed to not owning his own practice?)
The prisoners are being held against their will. (as opposed to prisoners held voluntarily?)
The sites are concentrated together. (as opposed to concentrated apart?)
He’s uniting them together with a common concern. (as opposed to uniting them apart?)

Please clean up your act, those of you who speak to the masses. We’ve got another 8-plus months to go.

For more on redundancies, see these past posts:

Leave a comment or send me an email with the oddities you hear in the campaign-speak of the day.

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Kathy Watson

Kathy Watson has a love/hate relationship with grammar; she loves words and the punctuation that helps them make sense, yet she hates those pesky rules. A self-proclaimed ruthless editor, she prefers standard usage guidelines of The Associated Press Stylebook. Her easy-to-use Grammar for People Who Hate Rules helps people write and speak with authority and confidence. She encourages and welcomes questions and comments. (Email)