Does pleonasm denote a particular redundant form?
But seriously folks, I wonder if my cute example is actually relevant. From browsing, it appears pleonasm might denote a particular redundant form and not just any random verbosity. Can anyone confirm or deny this? -dmh 03:41, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Looking at the OED definition, it looks like your definition is correct. It doesn't mention anything about something specific, in fact according to the OED there's a few more definitions. But Wiktionary isn't the OED and we don't need every definition imaginable. There's even a word pleonasmic which seems entirely unnecessary. --w:user:eean
"To have and to hold"
It would seem to me that "to have and to hold" is not necessarily a pleonasm : one can possess (have) something without taking the actions necessary to preserve it (to hold). —This comment was unsigned.
"They are both the same"
The given example seems incorrect in my view (as it is incomplete and can also describe non-redundant situations):
"They are both the same" is a pleonasm as the word "both" is redundant (...)
The 3rd-person, personal pronoun "They" does not refer only to two persons, items, concepts etc., rather to any group comprising more elements than one.
(I am not an English mothertongue speaker though).
For all cases that "They" refers to groups/sets comprising more than 2 elements, the term "both" gives the additional information that an (identical) subset of exactly two elemts are meant.
In these cases neither "both" nor "they" render each other redundant and the example is wrong. Tommie 12:10, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
- Well, you can only use "both" if the "they" already refers to exactly two elements; if the "they" refers to more than two elements, and you mean just a two-element subset of it, you have to say "two of them" ("they both" = "both of them" = "all two of them", though "all two of them" isn't natural). The normal use of "both" is to emphasize a parallel; if you say, "they were both raised in the South", you're making clear that you view this as a point of similarity, and you're also making clear that they aren't, like, siblings or something. ("They were raised in the South" could imply that they were raised together in the South, whereas the "both" makes clear that they were not.) However, "they are both the same" is redundant and awkward (assuming it's the entire sentence), because all of the features of "both" are implied either by "the same" or by the known two-ness of the referent. Do you see what I mean? —RuakhTALK 23:46, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
As a native speaker I agree with the non-native speaker in this instance - surely the distinction between 'They are both the same' and 'They are all the same' is both a necessary and critical observation - the example should be removed or substituted —This comment was unsigned.
- I have changed the example to "the two of them are both the same", which definitely involves redundancy. Equinox ◑ 11:32, 23 February 2010 (UTC)