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Thread: pleonasm

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 1


    What is the difference between pleonasms and tautologies, and are they considered bad practice, to be avoided at all cost? Or not? And how about oxymorons?


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    English Teacher
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      • French
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    • Join Date: Feb 2007
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    Re: pleonasm

    Tautology is the expression of an idea by means of 2 different words. This is generally regarded as bad pratice. As far as pleonasms are concerned, the point is slightly different : we enter the realm of rhetorics and stylistics. Pleonasms have been used by great poets and writers just as oxymorons.
    O brawling love, o loving hate,
    O anything of nothing first create.

    The co-presence of two seemingly contrary "signifiers" is close to a mere contradiction and yet it gives off a mighty effect.
    You should be cautious with those stylistic means and avoid them within your academic or school writings .

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