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Photo: Joe Giddens (Getty Images) Much has been written about the distinction between they’re, their, and there , when to use who vs. whom , and the difference between affect and effect . But tautologies? You’d be forgiven for hearing that word and thinking, Well, what the hell are those ? In grammatical terms, a tautology is the use of different words to say the same thing twice. At the risk of being tautological, it’s a needless repetition or redundancy. If you’re the sort who cares about avoiding common writing mistakes like wordiness , we’ve got you. Here’s a list of some of the most common tautologies you won’t be able to unsee. Apologies in advance. (Armed) gunman: Well, of course he was armed. He was a gunman. At that moment (in time) : Moment means “a brief moment in time.” (Hot) water heater : If it’s a heater, the “hot” part is implicit. Depreciate (in value) : If it’s depreciating, it’s going down in value. First (and foremost) : This just says “important” twice. (Over) exaggerate : An exaggeration is a more extreme or dramatic representation of something. The “over” is redundant. (Dilapidated) ruins: Being dilapidated is part of the ruins’ job description. Necessary essentials: If they’re necessary, they’re essential. And vice versa. (Same goes for “necessary requirement.”) In my opinion, (I think): That’s why it’s your opinion. Because you think it. Adequate (enough) : Adequate means “satisfactory or acceptable in quality or quantity;” a.k.a. enough. Warn (in […]