A plethora of pleonasms
If you lack the stomach for the previous post on the flaws of Wikipedia, you can go on a pleonasm hunt instead.
A previous post on pleonasms — from the Greek pleion, “more,” meaning redundant, using more words than necessary — may have sensitized you to safe haven, mass exodus and the like, but there is always more.
Last week a story drifted across the copy desk referring to the discovery in a prison of homemade shanks. A shank is a crude dagger improvised from a spoon, a piece of scrap metal or some other object. It is by definition homemade; Williams Sonoma doesn’t sell shanks. (Shank is also a verb, meaning to stab someone with such a weapon.) If a prisoner used a knife on another prisoner or a guard, we’d call it a knife.
So the hunt is on. What do you find that can be added to our swelling list of obnoxious pleonasms?* You Don’t Say is open to receive them.
* Please, skip the jocular submissions — jumbo shrimp, military justice. We’ve heard them all.