Ranting about Redundancy

General Grammar is a big fan of public radio – specifically NPR news. However, I am becoming increasingly annoyed GENERAL GRAMMAR iconbecause of the poor grammar lobbed over the air waves by people who should know better!!! (I won’t mention specific names; but, a velvety-voiced great interviewer, whose initials are A.C. is frequently guilty of the grammatical redundancy about which I’m going to rant.) So, while listening to “All Things Considered” as usual on the drive home from work (hoping that I would catch A.C. again in the error so that I could quote it in this post), it got even better… I mean worse! Velvet-voice was conversing with a reporter comrade (also with initials A. C. – how odd)! What follows is a section of the transcript of that piece. Read and cringe (hint: four times)!

“And, you know, that December budget agreement, it only gave Congress a rough framework for spending. What lawmakers have to do now is flesh all of that out.

And I recently talked to a long-time House Appropriations staffer. And he said these omnibus bills they’re very much like a solar system. There are the small planets and then there are the giants. The small planets – those are the easy budget items, they get more quickly resolved because there tends be more bipartisan agreement. These are things like Defense, Commerce, Transportation, and Military Construction. And Senator Barbara Mikulski, the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, she did confirm that those areas are now figured out.”

If you’re not cringing, then perhaps you are guilty of the same redundancy. Obviously, you’re in “good company.” It’s becoming rampant if even the best of the NPR folks don’t know any better. Without some whistle-blowers such as GG, it could get as bad as “I mean, it’s like…” California-girls drivel.  What follows is the same transcript as above with the four errors noted in red bold:

And, you know, that December budget agreement, it only gave Congress a rough framework for spending. What lawmakers have to do now is flesh all of that out.

And I recently talked to a long-time House Appropriations staffer. And he said these omnibus bills theyre very much like a solar system. There are the small planets and then there are the giants. The small planets – those are the easy budget items, they get more quickly resolved because there tends be more bipartisan agreement. These are things like Defense, Commerce, Transportation, and Military Construction. And Senator Barbara Mikulski, the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, she did confirm that those areas are now figured out.

Now it’s your turn to fix them…
1)
2)
3)
4)

I’m waiting to give you time…

OK, you may check your work against this corrected redundancy-free version:

And, you know, that December budget agreement only gave Congress a rough framework for spending. What lawmakers have to do now is flesh all of that out.

And I recently talked to a long-time House Appropriations staffer. And he said these omnibus bills are very much like a solar system. There are the small planets and then there are the giants. The small planets – those are the easy budget items – get more quickly resolved because there tends be more bipartisan agreement. These are things like Defense, Commerce, Transportation, and Military Construction. And Senator Barbara Mikulski, the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, did confirm that those areas are now figured out.

Good grief…don’t they remember elementary school language arts class?! “You don’t need to say, ‘My sister, she has blonde hair.’ I know your sister is a ‘she.’ You only need to say, ‘My sister has blonde hair.’”

Enough said. I don’t want to belabor the point and be guilty of redundancy. 🙂

(BTW – there are other “issues” in the above transcript excerpt. I’m limiting my ranting to one topic per post!)

Word Nerd here: As a former reporter (albeit print and not radio) I feel it necessary to point out that this report was a live conversation and extend a little grace. Yes, it’s good to self-edit while speaking and try to get rid of errors while talking. But I would hazard that that is like having to spell correctly while writing on a blackboard. I can spell just fine while writing on paper, but being in front of people and having to spell things right then? Terror. I would expect that in a segment of prerecorded tape aired during the broadcast both A.C.s in question wouldn’t make this mistake

Advertisements
Tagged

3 thoughts on “Ranting about Redundancy

  1. You missed one:

    What lawmakers have to do now is flesh all of that out.

    Should be:

    Now lawmakers have to flesh all of that out.

    • General Grammar says:

      The point of my “rant” is that PRONOUNS are redundant if inserted between the noun subject and verb (i.e., My brother, “he” became bald at a young age.) The comparability of the example you shared is escaping me.

  2. […] I’m not finished grousing yet about redundant use of pronouns (see Ranting about Redundancy). This error is spreading wildly…rather like a virus. NPR’s Renee Montagne, Claudio […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: