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We're All Just Saying it Again, Sam

Updated on December 25, 2016
kenneth avery profile image

Kenneth has been a member of HubPages for five years. He is retired from a 23-year career in the weekly newspaper business.

Redundant, to English experts, means repetitive; saying or doing the same thing continually. I know. Now I must provide an example. Okay. (e.g. (example given) "you are like sweet sugar."). Notice the sweet and sugar in the same statement? If you answered yes, then you graduate at the end of this hub.

A history of vagrants and  vagrancy, and beggars and begging
A history of vagrants and vagrancy, and beggars and begging | Source

The origin of this piece

can be found in everyday life at the entrance of your ears. You can hear redundant terms in almost every realm of life. Grocery stores, theaters and yes, ma'am, on car lots. This is a bizarre statement, but very true. Time for another (e.g. Heard at a car lot: "that rattle trap is a piece of junk.") I would think and I did think that the disgruntled customer would have gotten his point across to the smiling used car salesman if he had stopped with "rattle trap," but he went further with his demeaning tone by adding "piece of junk." The used car salesman must have laughed at him (with his fellow salesman friends) when he ranted, raved and went home.

There are other misused terms of endearment and insults that are easily found if only you look and listen carefully each time you find yourself in public. So with that short statement, I present my headline:

We're All Just Saying it Again, Sam

History of vagrants and  vagrancy, and beggars and begging
History of vagrants and vagrancy, and beggars and begging | Source
  • "Cheap whore": first off, a whore is not cheap. She loves men. That's it. She loves. Not charges men for love. You must be thinking of a call girl or a prostitute. Both of these icons of society charge big bucks for their selective services, so let's leave the whores alone.
  • "You stupid fool": any first year college student or even a high school student can see the redundancy in this term. First you have "stupid," or not with knowledge put with "fool" a person with no sense. If you are ever tempted to use this term, please make up your mind. Either use "you are so stupid," or "you are such a fool," but not degrade yourself by using "stupid fool."
  • "Rich millionaire": heard this one on an "Andy Griffith Show" rerun (whoa! The previous noun is a redundant term also. Andy Griffith, rest his soul, is no longer on television, so every show that he produced is a rerun. I heard "Floyd Lawson" the town barber use this term "I told the woman that I was a rich millionaire so I would look good to her." Uhhh, Floyd, rest your soul also, but unless people and their lifestyles in "Mayberry" were in a parallel universe, every millionaire is rich. You could have looked both smarter and richer if you had said, "I told the woman that I was a millionaire, so I would look good to her." See? No call to use "rich."
  • "Filthy swine": classic insult, but grammatically incorrect. The number of swine that have been ridiculed by this human-manufactured term is limitless. I am proud to stand up for the degraded swine. Swine have never hurt me. So now is my vengeance on the people who have miused this term in a willful manner. Look at the term, "fitlhy swine." Can you give me your solemn word that in your various life adventures and lessons ever seen a "Spotless swine?" Have you? Maybe the Queen of England has a pen in the back of Buckingham Palace that holds her prize "Spotless swine," but in my life I have never witnessed one swine that was even clean enough to take to a drive-in movie.
  • "Hot broiling sun": this term is at home with anyone who works or has worked outside for a living. Just find a farmer in early July when he is plowing his fields and strike up a conversation with him about the temperature (which you already know is 102 degrees) and sure as the sun rising in the east, he will say, "I am burning up out here in the hot, broiling sun." Now let's say that term in the correct sense. "I am burning up out here in the broiling sun." See how much better it sounds? Pass this info along to all of your farmer friends. They will appreciate it.
  • "Up on these stilts" well, isn't that the idea?
  • "Ice cold soda": Okay. Ice we all learned as a youth is cold. So why do we all fall prey to that grammatical trap of having to intensify our "cold soda" we are enjoying by putting "ice' as the prefix? No one is going to say, "Love this soda pop," when they can say, "I love ice cold Coke." (Oops, Christy at Hubpages)."Up on stilts" well, isn't that the idea?
  • "High as a kite": used in telling friends about another friend who has overdone booze or drugs or both. Just say, "Jim was so high that he could barely talk." Do not think you are highly-educated when you say, "That old Bob was high as a kite" for most people know ahead of time that kites do not fly close to the ground. So what are you really accomplishing by saying "high" in front of "as a kite?"
  • "Blank sheet of paper": this one really amazes me. Somewhere in our vast world people, even school teachers, are still using this term without stopping to realize that if you hand a piece of paper to someone, it should be blank already so why do people insist on using "blank" to describe a crisp piece of paper? I guess it is a two-way conspiracy coupling the brain and tongue into a lingual partnership to never change.
  • "Dark as midnight": have you ever in your life witnessed a fully-lit midnight? Come on. Be honest. If you think this one is mind-boggling, read the next one on the list.
  • "Darn that barking dog": Okay. I am a good sport. How about saying, "Darn that talking dog! He's getting on my nerves asking me questions about life and such." I implore you, dear followers. What else, besides loving a fire hydrant, is our best friend the dog supposed to do?
  • "Dangerous tightrope act": Frankly, have you ever been to a circus and witnessed a "Totally safe tightrope act?" And need I say more?
  • "Ugly beast": I have heard single guys use this awful term to describe a blind date. (e.g. "James, I am not going out with that 'ugly beast!'). Okay. Show me a "Gorgeous Beast" and I will date her myself. The single guy with standards way too high in his taste for women could have said, "James, I am not going out with that beast" and that might have slid under the wire. But "Mr. Too Selective" just couldn't use "beast," he had to use "Ugly" to make "beast" sound worse. No wonder that he is a lonely loser.
  • "Black as the ace of spades": in every card game that I have ever played, I have yet to see a red, blue, or even a green ace of spades. So the question begs to be asked, "why use 'black as' in the ace of spades?" You could get by with "Ace of Spades." or "Spade."
  • "Hard knocks": well, I tell you that this term alone does nothing for you or I, but put "school of" in front of it and people will almost instantly respect you for learning to much the hard way. But I have to ask, "is there such a place as a school of soft, enjoyable knocks?"
  • "Watch out!": can and is used by other people who are trying to warn others from being hurt by a run-away car, train or mule. I guess if the caring friend should scream, "Jack, watch in!" the friend in danger would not move in time due to being confused by the "watch in" term.
  • "One hot campfire": truthfully, this term was used by a writer (not me) who was involved with writing about men who form hunting and camping clubs in the town in the writer's story. One Friday evening a group of five guys set out to camp all weekend in a nearby mountain area and possibly get in some fishing in the process. That evening when one of the guys had built a welcomed campfire to the cold city dwellers, one of the appreciative campers said, "Tom, that is one hot campfire," and continued to warm his backside. This is one you can get right off the bat. Is there in our country a magical place where campfires are cold?" Think about this one for a moment.
  • "Those angry wasps will sting you": if you are an insect expert, you know that stinging is all a wasp can do to a human. They do have jaws and can eat things to keep them alive, but stinging is it. You can at least sound more educated if you say, "Watch in, Jack! Those wasps will hurt you!" See? I have made you into a new person.
  • "Excessive horseplay forbidden": with much awe and mouth agape, I viewed a sign with this verbiage near a motel swimming pool. My family and I just happened to be vacationing at the time and decided to take a swim. I stood for about 15 minutes trying to understand this warning. I wondered was "mild, safe horseplay" okay? And who would have the final say in what was or was not "excessive horseplay?" Was tossing a buddy (who couldn't swim) into the pool considered "excessive horseplay" or "dangerous horseplay?" To make this even more confusing, there was no information given about "Horseplay Police" who would be called to the pool area if any reports of "excessive horseplay" were given to the hotel management. What "if" a person or persons were guilty of "excessive horseplay" would they be hauled before a Circuit or Criminal Judge? Would they be given a mild sentence for this being their first offense and the local jail was overcrowded as it was? Or would they be put before a Grand Jury to hear the case and then a stiff sentence handed down due to them being "Habitual Excessive Horseplay Offenders?" My wife eventually got over her anger at me not swimming with her and our daughter.

And my all-time, number one on my list of redundant terms is:

  • "Lazy bum": this term is used by angry bosses to scorn lackluster employees who love daydreaming more than their jobs. Or used by angry father-in-law's to embarrass their new son-in-law's who have a talent to lose one good job after the other. "You lazy bum," sounds rough and harsh, but again, why disrespect a common bum who has not hurt anyone including yourself by adding "lazy" to his title of distinction? Futile if you ask me. If you must scold a less-than-stellar employee or non-focused son-in-law, say, "you bum!" or "you are very lazy," and do away with "lazy bum." Or you could do the noble thing and call him a "productive bum." At least you didn't use "bum" in the sense that the word is used in England as in our backside.

I promise you that all bums of America will appreciate it.

And a good night to Cincinnati, Ohio.

A swag-man
A swag-man | Source

© 2016 Kenneth Avery


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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      I have to agree with you on your expert analysis of the topic of

      my hub. Although I wasn't going for the emotional aspect of these

      phrases, I just thought that we might streamline our way of speaking

      and say things only once.

      Wonder how that would go?

      Happy New Year and write me anytime.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      2 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Hello in Northern Ireland. Hope your New Year is going well.

      Thank you sincerely for your nice words. I too have seen such things as a (Jumbo) Shrimp, (Black) Gold (oil), and never thought much about it until I really got down to sorting these phrases out and how they had their roots.

      Write me anytime.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Such redundancies, I think, are often used legitimately for emphasis rather than meaning. In some cases to indicate an emotional reaction.

    • DreamerMeg profile image


      2 years ago from Northern Ireland

      Yes, good English lessons here. But, I have seen a well lit midnight. A full moon on a northern summer's midnight means you can see pretty much anything, even if only in black and white. LOL.


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