Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pre-preparation and other pleonasms

We need to face up to the fact that it would apparently seem we are surrounded on all sides by pleonasms. Some like doing the crossword puzzle with an ink pen while eating a tuna fish sandwich. Others have their PIN number ready for the ATM machine. There also are bilingual tautological place names like Lake Tahoe and the Sahara desert.

Pleonasm is the use of more words in a clause or sentence than are necessary to express the meaning. Pleonasms sometimes add style but mostly waste time. For example, “in spite of the fact” can be replaced by “though” and “owing to the fact” can be replaced by “because.”

This post began from seeing an article yesterday on Critical Public Speaking Pre-preparation by Dale A. Simmons. (It first was published in 2007).The word prepare means to make ready. It comes from the Latin prae (before) plus parare (to set or place in order). Pre-preparation is a pleonasm, but has over fifty years of use to describe food service. The article said that:

“Pre-Preparation is critical to your delivering a good presentation. In Public Speaking the pre-preparation, or lack of, will be noticed by your audience.”

An article should be prepared by proofreading before publication. That article also said:

“Ask a friend over to help, it may cost you’re(sic) a dinner or beer, present it and ask for honest feedback.”

“You really don’t want to read off cue cards or read off you(sic) Power Point presentation.”

“It does not hurt to glance up if you loose(sic) your place.”

“Seating capacity, number of expected participants, size of room and acoustics play a huge roll(sic) on your planned delivery.”

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