Writing Errors – The General Consensus Being That An Opening Gambit Is Superfluously Redundant

Writers should cringe when they read or listen to one of their own coming up with a phrase such as “opening gambit”.

This happened the other day when I heard a newsreader talking about a political figure making a move against his rival.

A professional journalist should know better, or at least the editor who wrote the script. This is an example of redundancy, or superfluous words that are too common an occurrence in print, television and online.

There are hundreds of redundant phrases doing the rounds in journalism and, to be fair, we are all vulnerable whether we are experienced writers or learning to write.

However, while many expressions sneak by even the most pedantic of wordsmiths, there are some which are so blatantly redundant they should be caught and destroyed, “opening gambit” being one of them.

A “gambit” is an opening move by someone against a rival that involves a sacrifice. Gambit implies first move, so to say “opening gambit” is ridiculous given you never read or hear about a “second gambit”.

Another common mistake is the term “general consensus”. This is an amazingly popular error that even seasoned journalists and writers continue to make.

“Consesus” will always be general because the very word means a general agreement among members of a group or community.

Still, you see “general consensus” being repeated in all forms of journalism by professionals who are obliged to treat their readers with more respect.

“Close proximity” is another one. Proximity means close by. After all, you don’t say “far proximity”.

Other obvious ones include: basic fundamentals, brief cameo, honest truth, local residents, mutual cooperation etc.

Sneaky ones, in my opinion anyway, may be: empty space, common bond, new record, personal belongings, random chance and others.

The main thing is to think about each word you write and make sure you are not repeating yourself. If you find yourself writing two words for one concept, stop and check yourself to ensure you are not throwing another tautological phrase into the media mix.

, Nazvi Careem ,http://ezinearticles.com/expert/Nazvi_Careem/54928