Thursday, June 21, 2007


Ever since reading and learning this word I have clung to it like a mollusk. For one, "asm" is a lovely way to end a noun. It lends itself to all sort of spontaneous construction, like "pleonastic" and "pleonasful". I'm not saying that the aforementioned words are actually words as defined in any dictionary, just that I like to use them.

A pleonasm is defined as the use of more words than necessary to express and idea. Essentially, it is a redundancy. However, (for me) a true pleonasm has to be more complex than redundancy. It must be absurdly painful.

"A free gift" is redundant.

"A free gift, such I have not received since money was made" is truly pleonastic. (See, I used it. I used "pleonastic" when no one was looking and ya'll just excepted it.)

In fact, I remember a certain two fellas in High School (both whose Christian names happened to be "Kevin") who, in the geek filled hours of marching band practice, spent a good deal of time coming up with random, and rather redneck, metaphors for the expression of simple ideas like:

"He was quicker than an angry squirrel with a red hot nut."


"That was louder than a lovesick duck quacking at a toad at midnight."

Pleonasms at their most poetic.

The mnemonic is "Please...stop talking." Go forth and conquer.

1 comment:

  1. "It was a tiny little..."

    "He got into this little, small car..."

    "night time"