Re: Superfluous Modifier Contest

Subject: Re: Superfluous Modifier Contest
From: "Huber, Mike" <Mike -dot- Huber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 09:22:42 -0500

From: Brad Barnes T[SMTP:blb -at- formtek -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, January 29, 1996 8:10 PM
To: Multiple recipients of list TEC
Subject: Superfluous Modifier Contest

I have a full bucket of superflous modifiers. (I call them redundancies.)
Whatever you call them, these are all signs of gobbledygook.

a true fact
Hmmm... I've seen "fact" used to refer to a type of information
chunk of indeterminate truth value. E.g. "You have your facts
wrong."

basic fundamentals
Depends - "fundamentals" could refer to low-level constructs
(more commonly referred to as "primitives") in some technical
contexts. Some of those are not needed for most purposes.
For example, in a graphics system, the font controls on the
text object are a fundamental, but not basic.

blue in color, red in color, etc.
each and every

end result
As opposed to the result of a single step (other than the last)
in a process.

estimated at about
exact same
fell down

final outcome
See "end result"

ideas and thoughts
These differ in epistemology and psychology.

in addition to...also
near the vicinity of
If "vicinity" has a technical meaning in the context.

new and improved
new beginning
new innovation

nice and sweet
Can be an oxymoron in some contexts. Brewing,
for example.

reiterate again
Hey, some people do - it may be an apt description
of a presentation.

resulting effect
retreat back
revert back
separate and distinct

soft and cuddly
As opposed to "soft and slimy"

updated and revised
"Updated" may only mean that the date on the cover
is now correct - "revised" means there is real change.

various different

general consensus of opinion
"General" identifies the consensus as including the
main part of the group - otherwise the consensus might
be that of the select committee or something. "Opinion"
indicates we aren't talking about a fact.


OK - I will agree that all of these, at least as they are usually
used (and they are all too common), are strong indicators
of gobbledygook. But some of them, in particular technical
contexts, might mean something.

My fave: "...but, in Truth,..."
People write this when they are about to write something they
want you to agree with, but, in Truth, this is a good indicator
that a pompous lie is coming up.


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