They are often referred to as redundant and boring statements that are still in use to the surprise of the English masters and purists. Others simply call it overkill expressions that should be jettisoned for simpler and functional English if one must pass across to the reading and listening audience his or her idea seamlessly without hiccups. Compound words and superlatives are frowned at as they tend to drag and dull our expressions rendering them ineffective and indirectly hyping tautology, as the case may be. These expressions come in different forms, from the complex and simple statements that in the long run confuses the audience.
Take for example, statements such as ‘absolute perfection,’ acute/serious crisis,’ ‘adequate enough,’ ‘complete monopoly,’ ‘completely outplayed,’ ‘completely untrue,’ ‘concrete proposals,’ ‘consensus of opinion’ are the way some of us write. But the masters of the language say those appendages-adjectives, adverbs, nouns that trail or come before the word you want to play up are not necessary. Instead they are like compound words and superlatives that are no longer fancied any more. Again, the purists see them as redundant and stale phrases that should be avoided like the plague. According to the language experts, words most notoriously overused today are superlatives. For instance, crisis, disasters or tragedy should never be given the extra emphasis of adjectives.
The adjective, ‘absolute’ for example shows completeness, total and having unlimited power, and so is the noun ‘perfection.’ ‘Perfection,’ according to the Oxford dictionary of current English, is the state of having all the required elements or qualities. To write or speak ‘absolute perfection’ means we are simply sounding tautologous. That is the risk of piling up adjectives when we try to convey our thoughts to the people out there. And so, simplify your ideas with just simple and straightforward expression and avoid the temptation of using complex attachments in the guise of sounding bombastic to make your argument pleasing to the ear, but fails to communicate. The same argument goes for stale expressions such as ‘acute or serious crisis.’
We are made to understand that ‘crisis’ is crisis, the appendage or attachment ‘acute’ or ‘serious’ should not be considered at all. Some may argue that the adjectives, ‘acute’ and ‘serious’ are meant to show the magnitude of the crisis or accident, for instance. But the English masters and purists see them as waste of time and indulging in unnecessary use of adjectives to impress one’s self rather than express one’s thought in plain language to be understood. ‘Adequate enough’ is yet the way many people speak and write but ignorant of the fact that they are saying the same thing and that is a typical example of playing up tautology.
‘Adequate,’ the English dictionary points out, is something satisfactory or acceptable; as much as is bearable, enough to an extent that is as much as is needed. Similarly, ‘enough’ is the synonym of ‘adequate,’ something necessary and desirable; sufficient in quality or quantity to meet a need or quality for something. Take note of these expressions as well, ‘complete monopoly,’ ‘completely outplayed,’ and ‘completely untrue,’ should be given the same treatment. The appendage or extra baggage of the adjective and adverb ‘complete’ and ‘completely’ are not necessary. It’s rather clumsy and outdated. Speak and write straightforward English, for example, ‘Chelsea football club outplayed their opponent, Athletico Madrid in the recently held EUFA championship cup second leg at Stamford Bridge in London.
’ The adverb, ‘completely’ should be ruled out because it makes little or no sense or add nothing to the language structure. ‘Monopoly,’ ‘outplayed,’ and ‘untrue’ are regarded as complete statements that do not require ‘complete,’ or ‘completely’ to send the right message unambiguously to the audience. Also ‘concrete proposals,’ and ‘consensus of opinion,’ are like overkill that should be avoided. One can write ‘proposals,’ ‘opinion’ as complete statements without attaching the nouns ‘concrete’ and ‘consensus.’ They make no sense but rather they add to what I described as long winding and boring statements.