December 21, 2012

Redundancy- An Overview

This guest post is from Raksha Pradeep,Director of ApraDocs Information Developers, New Delhi ,holds a Masters Degree in Business management in Human Resource from IBS, Mumbai University .Apart from her services in corporate sector she is also involved with various reputed institutes as visiting/ guest faculty for Business Communication.

Redundancy has different meaning in different arena but narrowing the definition to linguistics we can say that it is the superfluity of words in a sentence or the use of words or data that could be omitted without loss of meaning or function. Being verbose in your expression doesn't mean that a person is an efficient writer but, to express everything in a concise form without letting the facts ignored makes the listener or the reader alert and glued to the topic. We often come across the situations where we see people lacking interest in the subject though it may be interesting just because of repetition of the ideas or opinions. Sometimes to emphasize one’s point of view people use unnecessary adjectives or adverbs but while writing as a professional we should avoid redundancy.
Though the list never ends, some common redundancy errors and the techniques to avoid them are cited here:-
Eliminate unnecessary adverbs:
“I truly believe you.” Instead we can say “I believe you” It doesn't change the fact what we want to convey.  For example- really, truly, extremely, very, quite, severely, these words often lead to redundancy errors if not used properly.
Replace or eliminate meaningless adjectives:-
“He is a good runner who runs fast” instead we can say “He is a fast runner”. Adjectives such as good, nice, bad, okay, important, significant may add to redundancy mistakes.
Writing concise sentences:
Writing short and simple sentences is an effective way to reduce redundancy errors. It also helps the reader to understand clearly what the writing is exactly about.
Avoid expletive constructions:-
“There is/are”, “It is” these are some of the phrases which usually are unnecessarily used by the writers making the sentence superfluous. For example:  “There are over five thousand people listening to him” instead it can be said “Over five thousand people are listening to him.”
Avoid repeating yourself in the following sentences:-
“Ram is an intelligent boy. Ram scored highest in the final examination. Teachers often praise Ram.” We can replace Ram by he/him in the following sentences without snatching the meaning of the paragraph.
Trimming the fat:-
Using set of words instead of one: These are the most common redundancy errors we make while communicating with others. We should know how to trim the fat and make the sentence more concise. Few examples are listed below:-
At the present time-                       Now
Due to the fact that-                       Because
12 midnight-                                     Midnight
In my opinion, I believe-                 I believe
In the event that-                             If
In spite of the fact that-                 Although
In the vicinity of-                              Near
Until such time as-                           Until

Redundancy is mostly overlooked while writing but, when it comes to professional writing it should be taken care of because, it’s not the literature or language the reader is looking out for but the content and the facts embedded in it.

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