A-Z Challenge 2015: T is for Tautology

What is Tautology? Tautology is the needless repetition of a single concept. This is huge for writing. I think we are all guilty of this one at some point.


  • At that moment in time, the stars dimmed. (It’s always a moment in time.)
  • The man who used to live next door is a single bachelor. (Bachelors are always single.)
  • The vote was totally unanimous. (The word totally doesn’t add anything.)
  • He left at 3 am in the morning. (The term am means in the morning.)
  • The reason is because he left during the dinner. (The word because doesn’t add anything.)

I had never heard of this term but I see this in writing all the time. Are there any examples that you’ve found that stick out to you?

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5 Responses

  1. timsbrannan says:

    On that always bugs me is when people say “ATM Machine”. The M in ATM is for machine. Or “PIN Number”.
    Ah well.

    Tim Brannan, The Other Side Blog
    2015 A to Z of Vampires

  2. Paula Kaye says:

    The word ‘that’ is the one giving me the most trouble. I am learning to delete it from my sentences.
    I would have at one time written: The word ‘that’ is the one that is giving me the most trouble.

  3. stephen tremp says:

    I’m getting better at tautology. But my editor still often corrects me.

  4. Liesel Hill says:

    Yeah, we definitely all do that. (It’s what editing is for. :D) I just didn’t know there was an actual term for it. 😀 Good to know!

    • R.K. Grow says:

      I am finding so many terms I’ve never heard of but I know the application of it. If anything, I will be super aware of new grammar terms and common mistakes. It’s like when you are researching anything. During the process of buying a car, you research so many different models until you settle on one. And then, you see them everywhere on the freeway, streets, etc. when you drive. It happens to me all the time.

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