Word of the Day

Thursday, July 17, 2014

tautology

\taw-TOL-uh-jee\ , noun;
1.
needless repetition of an idea, especially in words other than those of the immediate context, without imparting additional force or clearness, as in "widow woman."
2.
an instance of such repetition.
3.
Logic. a. a compound propositional form all of whose instances are true, as "A or not A." b. an instance of such a form, as "This candidate will win or will not win."
Quotes:
If "When they're gone they're gone" is just a straight tautology then nobody finds it in the least bit informative. It isn't, because it is tautology. But if it's really not a tautology then that is to say it's metaphorical.
-- Edited by Theodore G. Ammon, Conversations with William H. Gass, 2003
Tautology. Yes, I know, it's an ugly word. But so is the thing. Tautology is this verbal device which consists in defining like by like ("Drama is drama").
-- Roland Barthes, translated by Annette Lavers, Myth Today, 1972
Origin:
Tautology comes from the Greek tautología, and is formed with tauto- meaning "same" and -logy meaning "writing" or "discourses."
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