Friday, 1 January 2021

Tautology

Ah, tautology: you are the gift that keeps giving. Tautology often makes me smile, because we all do it. Even University Challenge does it: "I will repeat that again".

Before I knew the 'proper' name for this type of redundancy, I experienced the perfect example of it. A friend and I were tramping with a big class group in the Abel Tasman National Park. We would have been about 13 years old. I had not been to the particular hut we were heading for, so I asked my friend where it was when we were on the ridge overlooking the bay where the hut was located, and about to start our descent. 

Pointing down into the bay, she said "There. Halfway through the centre of the middle."

That is still the example I use when teaching. It has stuck with me for all these years.


Sam

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