Be pre­cise

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIFE­STYLE -

lined) are quick ex­am­ples: (1) ver­bosity, the state or qual­ity of us­ing or con­tain­ing more words than are nec­es­sary to ex­press an idea, e.g. it is well­known to one and all that the world is not flat; (2) pro­lix­ity, the state of con­di­tion of be­ing te­diously long and dwelling on minu­tiae and trivia – for ex­am­ples just hear the speeches of politi­cians on an elec­tion cam­paign trail; (3) tau­tol­ogy, the un­nec­es­sary rep­e­ti­tion of a word or ex­pres­sion by us­ing a dif­fer­ent word or words to con­vey the same sense, e.g. a small, lit­tle prob­lem – ei­ther of the un­der­lined words may be deleted with­out any loss of mean­ing; and (4) re­dun­dancy, the pres­ence of a word or phrase in a sen­tence, which can be dis­carded with no loss of mean­ing be­cause its mean­ing is al­ready sub­sumed in an­other word or phrase within the same sen­tence; for ex­am­ple (i) fi­nal ul­ti­ma­tum – the sense of fi­nal­ity is al­ready con­tained in the word ul­ti­ma­tum; (ii) com­prise of – the word com­prise means “con­sist of”, so that the un­seemly phrasal verb com­prise of would con­tain two “of’s”, one overt and the other covert; and (iii) ba­sic fun­da­men­tals – as if there are also fun­da­men­tals which are not ba­sic.

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