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Tautology

Tautology means to state an idea, then state the idea again using different words such as stating, “The autobiography I read was about the author’s life.” Tautology also describes a phrase or idiom in which the same idea is expressed twice using different words, such as the idiom jot or tittle. In terms of logic, tautology is a statement that is composed of two facts, one of which must be true in all possible interpretations or situations. For instance, the sentence “It will either rain this week or it won’t rain this week,” is tautology. The word tautology comes from the Greek word tautologia, which means repeating that which has been said.


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Examples

In other instances, we are given too many pedantic details about trips to visit girlfriends, and editorializing about “self-serving politicians, company yes-men and union bosses,” which becomes annoying tautology. (The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

The raison d’être for the NewFronts ends up being a bit of a tautology: Because the volume of digital shops is increasing at a rate that might soon outstrip the number of eyeballs available to view their videos, advertisers need these kinds of presentations simply to know what the hell all of these places are even about. (The International Business Times)

Most of the male VCs (something of a tautology since 93% of partners at top venture capital firms are male) she encountered didn’t even know how a tampon worked. (The Guardian)

That may be a tautology, but I refer to males on the public scene, mainly in politics, facing the music for their corruption, marital infidelity, or both, like Eliott Spitzer or Bill Clinton. (Haaretz)

The best definition of Canadian content remains a tautology: It’s content created by Canadians. (The Globe and Mail)

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