Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Tautologies, oxymorons, and confusables

Tautology (unnecessary repetition) – in actual fact, forward planning, raze to the ground, (raze means to the ground) two twins, (if there were three they would be triplets) adequate enough, very unique (unique means one of a kind)
Oxymoron (contradictory terms) – honest politician, deafening silence, open secret.
It is fine to use tautology or an oxymoron occasionally for emphasis or fun, but constant use of them shows an author too lazy to think outside a box of clichés.
Cement/concrete. Cement is that gray powder stuff. If she is standing on cement she’s up to her ankles in dust.
Lightning/lightening. Without the e it’s what zaps from the sky in a thunderstorm. With the e it’s what happens at dawn as the sky begins to lighten.
Wrack: when things are destroyed, wrack and ruin.  Rack up a lot of debts, racked with pain.

Now it’s your turn to comment.
What topics would you like to see covered on this blog?
Helen Woodall


Amarinda Jones said...

Hmmm...why do I feel like I've seen those comments before?

Topics? Worst author prima donna you ever had - no names of course.

Dumbest thing a publisher ever said to you but you went along with?

Have you ever seen the author word 'squeee' in a story?

Ever suspected someone wrote a book drunk or under the influence of happy weed?

Has there been a book so unspeakable that you have rejected it but the publisher accepted it as they were desperate and how does that make you feel?

If you want to grow up to be an editor what should you do to enhance your chances?

Ok...probably enough from me...

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

Thanks, Amarinda
There's some great ideas there.

anny cook said...

Personally, I don't think there can be too many examples.

Also what do you think of the influence of texting on the misspelling/grammar rampant on the web?

Helen Woodall: Freelance Editing said...

If a person can spell correctly, texting is a logical contraction. If they can't spell, they're going to get texting wrong as well I reckon.