List of Common Redundancies

List of Common Redundancies

If there is one place you should strive for better communication, it is in the workplace. Too much is at stake to be sloppy. Deals need to be closed, contracts negotiated, and major projects assigned. Don’t let a slip of the tongue mess you up. Be specific. Be concise. Be clear. Study this list of common redundancies in order to improve.

Despite what’s at stake, the business world is full of poor communication, especially redundancies. We’ll look at more than a few below. The list below is an excerpt from my book Visual Grammar.

list of common redundancies

Most redundancies are harmless and of no consequence, but if you want to present yourself in the best light, try learning a few of the most common mistakes made in business. These appear frequently on résumés, cover letters, job descriptions, and especially in emails; however, I’ve also seen them more than a few times in proposals and sales contracts.

Getting rid of redundant words tightens up your writing and makes it more clear.

Here Is a List of Common Redundancies (And yes, it’s here is a list, as list is singular. I could have also said, “Here are a few redundancies.”)

How many times have you heard your boss or your colleagues use some of the statements below? Far too often, I’m sure. I’m not advocating correcting them aloud, but you can correct them in your head, and then go on to use the words the right way. It will make you happy. And once you learn the words on this list of common redundancies, you’ll be better prepared for writing in the business world.

  • absolutely necessary (absolutely is almost never necessary. It is an absolute. As far as “necessary”, something either is or it isn’t necessary.) You can see a post I did on “absolutely” here
  • advance warning
  • actual facts (Facts are facts. It’s a fact or it isn’t.)
  • add an additional
    • I would like to add an order of fries.
    • I would like an additional order of fries. (As you can see, both sentences are the same.)
  • added bonus
  • already existing
  • alternative choice
  • and etc. (There is never a need to use “and” with etc.)
  • at the present time
  • basic fundamentals (Fundamentals are basic.)
  • brief moment
  • brief summary (A summary is brief.)
  • cancel out
  • Commute back and forth
  • completely eliminated (No need for “completely.”)
  • component parts
  • consensus of opinion
  • current trend
  • currently away (or unavailable) There is no need for “currently.”
    • I’m away from my desk.
    • I’m not available.

    The worst are the double redundancies, like when you hear phone messages that say “I’m currently away from my desk right now.”

  • different kinds
  • drop down
  • during the course of
  • each and every (Use each or every but not both.)
    • I gave a dollar to each child.
    • I gave a dollar to every child.
  • emergency situation
  • end result (The result is the end.)
  • equal to one another
  • exact same
  • favorable approval
  • final conclusion
  • final outcome (same as end result)
  • first of all
  • First and foremost
  • foreign imports (I hope this one is obvious.)
  • former graduate
  • future plans
  • gather together
  • had done previously
  • introduced a new
  • join together
  • joint collaboration
  • lag behind
  • later time
    • I’ll get to that at a later time.
    • I’ll get to that later.
  • made out of
  • major breakthrough (A breakthrough is major.)
  • meet with each other
  • merge together
  • new beginning
  • new innovation
  • new invention
  • new recruit
  • number-one leader in (The leader is number one.)
  • never before
  • new invention
  • none at all
  • off of
  • past experience (Experience is in the past.)
  • past history (same as above)
  • Past memories
  • Past records
  • PIN number
  • period of time
  • personal opinion
  • pick and choose
  • please RSVP (RSVP means please respond.)
  • pouring down rain
  • Pre-board (as with an airplane)
  • Pre-record
  • present time
  • proposed plan
  • RAM memory
  • reason why
  • regular routine (A routine is regular.)
  • Safe haven
  • sit down or stand up
  • start off or out
  • sufficient enough
  • sum total
  • tuna fish
  • twelve noon or midnight
  • ultimate goal
  • undergraduate student (An undergraduate is a student.)
  • Unexpected emergency
  • Unexpected Surprise
  • Unintentional mistake
  • UPC code
  • Very pregnant
  • Very unique
  • Visible to the eye
  • wall mural
  • warn in advance or advance warning
  • write down

Further Explanation

Let’s take a look at a few more of these examples and see why they are wrong. I’m guessing most of them are self-explanatory, but for those of you who would like an explanation, here it is.

Added (bonus)

A bonus already is an “added” feature. There is no reason to state it again.

Alternative (choice)

Choice is a synonym for alternative; in other words, it is an alternative, so no need to use word.

(And) etc.,

etc., means “and so forth,” and, as such, there is no need to use and. If you use and, what you’re really saying is “and and so forth.”

(Brief) moment

A moment is brief. What else is it? A long moment?

(Brief) summary

Same thing. A summary is brief.

Collaborate (together)

Collaborate means “to work together.”

Commute (back and forth)

Commute means “to go to and from work.” It already means “back and forth.”

(Component) parts

A part is a component, and a component is a part.

Consensus of opinion

When I was recruiting, I heard this often. “We formed a consensus of opinion,” meaning they decided on a candidate. All they had to say was “We formed—or arrived at—a consensus.” The “of opinion” part was unnecessary.

Currently out of My Office, or Currently away from My Desk, or Currently Unavailable

Call thirty people and you’re bound to hear this misquote more than a few times. “I’m currently away from my desk right now.” This is a double redundancy. We don’t need currently and we don’t need right now. “I’m away from my desk” suffices.

(Different) kinds

Kinds are different.

Drop (down)

There is nowhere else to drop but down.

If you drop a penny from a tall building, which way will it fall?

During (the course of)

During means “in the course of.”

She kept talking during the course of the movie.

She kept talking during the movie.

(End) result

Result is the end. it’s “a consequence or an outcome.”

Equal (to one another)

No need for “to one another.” Equal implies comparing already—one thing is “equal” to another.

(Exact) same

Exact means the same.

I’ve looked at the two options; they’re exactly the same.

I’ve looked at the two options; they’re the same.

(Favorable) approval

Approval implies “a favorable response or action.” Consider: “He gave his approval” or “He gave his favorable approval.”

(Final) conclusion

A conclusion is final.

The boss reached a final conclusion.

The boss reached a conclusion.

(Final) outcome

The outcome is final.

(First and) foremost

Foremost (as the name implies) means “most prominent,” so no need to use first.

Joint collaboration

Similar to the previous two redundancies involving collaboration, “joint collaboration” is also a redundancy for the same reasons. A collaboration implies more than one person/company etc., will participate, so there is no need to say it is a “joint” collaboration.

I used to see statements like the following all the time: “The new drug was a joint collaboration between company x and company y.” Why not just say “The new drug was a collaboration between company x and company y”?* There is no need for *joint.

Lag (behind)

To lag means to fall behind. You don’t lag ahead.

Merge together

To “merge together” is no different than “join together” or “gather together” or “joint collaboration.” Merge already states the obvious, so there is no reason for the word together.

(Number-one) leader in ____

If you’re the leader, you are number one. Leader implies it.

(New) beginning

A beginning is new.

(New) innovation

An innovation is new.

(New) invention

An invention is new.

(New) recruit

A recruit is new. You don’t recruit old soldiers.

None (at all)

If you have none, then you have none. You don’t need to say “at all.”

Off (of)

People say this frequently. “Get off of the couch.” No need for of. “Get off the couch” will suffice.

Past experience/history

Experience and history, by definition, imply they are past. There is no need to state it. You wouldn’t say “I have past experience as a salesman” when “I have experience as a salesman” would suffice. Of course your experience is in the past; you’ve already done it. You can’t have experience with what you’ll do tomorrow.

(Past) memories

Same reasoning as experience.

(Past) records

Same reasoning as experience.

PIN (number)

Same as ISBN, the N stands for number. You hear this one all the time. People say “I forgot my PIN number.” If you do a Google search, you’ll even see results from banks referring to it as a PIN number. They should know better.

(Pre)board (as with an airplane)

To board (verb) means “to get into or get onto,” so how can you get on before you get on? That would be like the airline announcing, “Passengers can now get on before they get on.”


To record (as in record) is to write something down or save the digital (or taped) version of a voice/TV show/song, etc. You can’t “pre” record something. That would be doing it before you did it. It would be like saying “Sue, record that song before you record it,” or “Tim, write that down before you write it down.”

RAM (memory)

“Random access memory” (an acronym) already contains the word memory.

(Safe) haven

A haven is a safe place. You’ve never heard of an unsafe haven have you?

(Sum) total

To sum something is to total it.

Tuna (fish)

Is it salmon fish or chicken fowl? No? Then why is it tuna fish? I’ve seen some explanation that the flesh of the tuna is called tuna fish, but that seems like an afterthought to me. No other fish is described that way.

Undergraduate student

This is one I hear and see all the time. What’s wrong with it? An undergraduate is, by definition, a student, so student is not needed.

(Unexpected) emergency

I think it’s apparent that an emergency would be unexpected. If you knew it was coming, you could prepare for it, and it wouldn’t be an emergency.

(Unexpected) Surprise

Same reasoning as the previous example. What fun would a surprise party be if it wasn’t unexpected.

(Unintentional) mistake

I don’t know of anyone who makes mistakes on purpose; therefore, a mistake is already unintentional.

UPC (code)

Same as before. Code is included in the initialism.

(Very) pregnant

Don’t make me laugh. You’re either pregnant or you’re not.

(Very) unique

Don’t make me cry.

Visible (to the eye)

Really? Do you prefer things that are visible to the ear or nose.

(Wall) mural

Since the definition of mural indicates location, what else would it be?

Why Do Business Redundancies Matter?

I’m not out to fix writing in the corporate world—I need too much help myself. But I would like to share a few tips and perhaps help a few people improve their résumés or cover letters or their writing in general. Or maybe help a company write a better job description, one that allows them to attract a more qualified candidate.

Ideally, these tips may eliminate some of the redundancies we find in emails. I believe that once you start to tighten your writing (by eliminating redundancies), you will find that your communication—written and verbal—improves.

So why do redundancies matter?

One of the most sought-after traits in industry is the ability to communicate clearly and succinctly. Eliminating redundancies is a big step to accomplishing that.

You can download the list here.


Pin It on Pinterest

%d bloggers like this: