To say that a thing is shaped like itself is a tautology, a truthful phrase with no informational content, an unnecessary repetition of words meaning the same thing: "free gratis" or "I can see it with my own eyes" or "It is what it is".
Usually, this is just used as a joke, but it's often also used to describe something as boring. Calling a sofa sofa-colored, for instance, implies that its color is generic and unremarkable. The name comes from William Shakespeare, who used tautologies a lot. In Antony And Cleopatra during a drunk scene:
Lepidus: What manner o' thing is your crocodile? Antony: It is shap'd, sir, like itself, and it is as broad as it hath breadth; it is just as high as it is, and moves with its own organs. It lives by that which nourisheth it, and the elements once out of it, it transmigrates. Lepidus: What color is it of? Antony: Of its own color too. Lepidus: 'Tis a strange serpent. Antony: 'Tis so. And the tears of itare wet.
The same slogan was also used to advertise a new apartment block overlooking Ruislip Underground station, likewise on a major route into and out of London.
Spoofed in a set of ads for Nationwide Insurance, featuring "The World's Greatest Spokesman in the World!"
The You Don't Know Jack shop page (apparently no longer functioning) is called the STORE-Mart, and features the catchy slogan "We Sell Various Items To You".
Local Liquor's slogan is "There's one near you". Which works great for TV ads. Emblazoned on the store that you're standing in front of? Notsomuch...
A McDonald's ad. "This new Zesty Mango McMini is really zesty." This is then emphasized by a trio of women who sing the word "Zesty" in a motown style.
A particularly bad example is the radio ad campaign for South African Airways Business Class. For some reason they thought it would be a good idea to end each ad with this: "So, fly South African Airways Business Class. Business Class: 'For Business'." You don't say!
According to a TV advert for Donkey Kong Country Returns, DK "rampages through your living room like an ape rampaging through your living room."
Apple's 2011 iPhone campaign stated that "If you don't have an iPhone.... well, then you don't have an iPhone."
"Our bank's debit card gives you the security of a Personal PIN Number!"
Nabisco was originally called National Biscuit Company before they shortened it to Nabisco. Much later, they decided that Nabisco now stands for Nabisco Biscuit Company. Which, when you think about it, stands for Nabisco Biscuit Company Biscuit Company. Which stands for Nabisco Biscuit Company Biscuit Company Biscuit Company... You eat the red Ritz, and I'll show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Often in commercials we are told "If you are not completely satisfied, return it, but keep X as a free gift." Have you ever heard of a gift that wasn't free?
Red Dog beer once got in trouble because consumers assumed it was red in color. They launched an advertising campaign to correct this misapprehension: "Is it red? No. It's regular colored."
Likewise Red Rock Cider: "It's not red, and there's no rocks in it."
There is a Dr. Pepper ad where the head of a biker gang asks some guy what Dr. Pepper tastes like. The guy can only describe it as, "It tastes like Dr. Pepper." The biker is not amused.
According to the commercials, Jack in the Box's "Munchie Meals" each come with "a drink you can drink". As opposed to the ones you can't.
Back when mail-order computer retailers were still a thing, magazine ads (instead of crediting all the various trademarks to their respective companies) would say "Trademarks are the property of their owners".
"It's a pillow, it's a pet... It's a Pillow Pet."
Chrysler Superbowl 2014 commercial: "Is there anything more American...than America?"
Something between this and I Am Not Shazam is referring to the nine-tailed demon fox as "The 9-Tailed Kyuubi" (or other tailed beasts in a similar manner) as if "kyuubi" was a proper name, but it just means "nine tails" and we don't learn the real name of it (Kurama) or any of the other tailed beasts' names but Shukaku until very late in the series.
Many anime subtitles will translate the sentence "hitori wa sabishii" as "being alone is lonely."
As pointed out elsewhere on this wiki, "being alone is lonely" technically isn't a tautology, since you can be alone but not lonely.note That's assuming the word "lonely" as used here means "sad from being alone" and not simply "alone," which is another definition of the word and which would make this a tautology.Still awkward as hell.
In Dragon Ball, before the hotly contested translation of "Saiyan", the race that Goku et. al belong to were often referred by the English fandom as either "the Saiyajin peoples" or "the Saiyajin race" despite the fact that "-jin" means "people/race".
Also in Dragon Ball, Goku's master is known as "Master Roshi" in the English dub of the anime. Quite a tautology if you have in mind that "Roshi" means "Master" or "Teacher" in Chinese; so his name would be "Master Master."
The Crunchyroll sub of the first episode of Galaxy Express 999 includes the line "Let's just do all that we can. That's all we can do."
In the Sailor Moon Stars manga, Usagi asks Chibi Chibi who she truly is. Chibi Chibi responds with something among the lines of "I am I." Usagi contemplates it seriously for a moment before getting annoyed that Chibi Chibi completely dodged the question.
In Mahoraba the six year old personality goes on a large tangent of this: "Nanako is Nanako. Nanako is Nanako so it's Nanako. If Nanako wasn't Nanako then Nanako wouldn't be Nanako but Nanako..."
GaoGaiGar: "The power of The Power..." This is because the latter is Gratuitous English, so it originally went "ZA PAWAA no chikara..." (Still, who knows why didn't they use "strength" or something)
Ask yourself, what does the DC in DC Comics stand for? It stands for Detective Comics, the name of their first and once bestselling series. Now think about that for a moment. Detective Comics Comics. A letters column once explained the logic behind the company still being DC Comics, stating that news of a new "DC launch" might upset some of our foreign friends. While the company is officially DC Entertainment now... one of its subsidiaries is DC Comics.
The Runaways hideout is in the La Brea Tar Pits, where "La Brea" is Spanish for "the tar". These are found both in Real Life Los Angeles and in the comic book Runaways. The redundancy is also commented upon within the pages of Runaways, where the the tar tar pits appear.
Also, while Molly is pushing against a giant monster's foot:
Molly: His foot smells like feet!
The stupid, stupid rat creatures in Bone occasionally use this:
"Do something quick, small mammal, before we are all killed to death!"
In DR And Quinch stories, things are often described in this manner by whichever character is narrating. For example, the hatchway of a spacecraft is described in one story as opening "with a sound just like the sound of a hatchway opening."
One issue of The Simpsons shows Bart, Milhouse, and Martin looking over all the new summer comics in the comic-book shop - and, of course, most of them feature snarling renegade "heroes" or impossibly buxom super-women on their covers. Two of the comics have the titles "Deathkill" and "Killdeath" - which qualifies as a double example.
In The Sandman issue "The Hunt", a character tells a fairy story in which one of the strange objects the hero accumulates is a small bone carved into the shape of a small bone.
Also, many other examples. Including the "nuclear bom went off like a bom", though perhaps this could be saying that it went off like a bomb but not a nuclear one, since all it really does is scratch the paint on Soichiro's car.
Dialogue tags that reiterate the dialogue they're describing are infuriatingly common in fanfic, especially when Said Bookism is also in play.
"Gay, Bejewelled, Nazi Bikers of Gor" frequently employs tautologies to mock the original author's redundant writing.
The meal consisted of busk meat, which is a manly meat taken from the busk, those large, shambling animals used by Goreans for meat. In addition I had eaten several vulo eggs, these being the eggs of the birds that the Goreans call the vulo, and which the Goreans keep so they can eat their eggs. This was as well in addition to the so-turgey bread I had eaten with my busk meat and vulo eggs, the flour for this bread being taken from the so-turgey plant, which is grown on Gor by the peasant caste.
In Jeffrey Wells's Narbonic fanfic ''A Brief Moment of Culture", the killer yogurt proves beyond Artie's powers of simile:
We stood before the slucking mass of yellow-tinged white yogurt that draped and spilled over the gerbil pens like some kind of ... obscene mutant dairy product or something.
“I’m Admiral Awesome Yonasomun Armageddon, leader of the U. S. Army Saijin Brigade.” said Awesome Yonasomun Armageddon, leader of the U. S. Army Saijin Brigade.
The original dialog is paraphrased briefly in a Star Trek story here
At one point in Magnetism! Fluttershy hands Rainbow Dash what is described as a peach colored peach.
A total inversion of this trope occurs in this joke from classic Greek philosophy times: "This is the portrait of Menodotis...which resembles about any Crethi and Plethi...in fact, everyone except Menodotis." Shades of Null-A...
The opening narration: "Legend tells of a legendary warrior whose kung-fu skills were the stuff of legend."
The secret ingredient of the secret ingredient soup.
The thousand demons of Demon Mountain.
Master Shifu. "Shifu" means "master" in Chinese.
Chor Ghom Prison. Guess what 'Chor Ghom' means?
When Eric catches up to T-Bird in The Crow, it takes a while for T-Bird to realize who he is. This is doubtless partially due to the makeup Draven wore, but it might also have been denial, as when he realizes it, he's so confused and frightened he fires off five of these statements in a row.
T-Bird: ... I know you. I knew I knew you; I knew I knew you... But you can't be you. This is the really real world. We killed you dead! There ain't no comin' back..."
The Continuum Transfunctioner from Dude Wheres My Car. The Continuum Transfunctioner is a very mysterious and powerful device. Its power is exceeded only by its mystery, and its mystery is exceeded only by its power.
In the romantic comedy Intolerable Cruelty, the main character is a member of the National Organization of Marital Attorneys, Nationwide (in other words, he's a divorce lawyer). This is for no other reason than for the organization to have the acronym N.O.M.A.N. The organization's motto is "Let N.O.M.A.N. put asunder."
The La Trattoria from Mickey Blue Eyes. Heavily lampshaded when they hang a lampshade on it.
In Pootie Tang, Chris Rock's character has a friend who repeatedly ruins his rants by Explaining The Joke like this. For example, one rant ends with the line "And they won't let air in. [...] That's how exclusive a Biggie Shorty party is." His friend's response: "You know what else? It's hard to get in, too."
The classic Mikey quote from The Goonies: "Because it's their time! Their time! Up there. Down here, it's our time — it's our time down here!" Martha Plimpton (Stef) even made fun of it in the cast commentary: "We reiterate that!"
The movie title, Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo. Aren't all gigolos male by definition? Considering how much that movie does a weird gender inversion of anatomy-naming (e.g. shenis, man-gina,) this use of the trope was probably intentional.
Flowers for Algernon's film adaptation Charly had Charlie Gordon give Ms. Kinnean a phrase from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable to punctuate: "That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is."
"Manos" The Hands of Fate. As manos is Spanish for "hands", the title when fully translated means, "Hands the hands of fate".
In the test Spock is taking at the beginning of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Spock is asked to give Kiri-Kin-Tha's first law of metaphysics. "Nothing unreal exists" is the answer.
California Carlson in the Hopalong Cassidy films insists that "El Camino Real" is Spanish for "The Real Camino", to hide the fact that he has no idea what a camino is. (Or "Real", for that matter, which means Royal.)
Ford: I won't disturb you with the details because they would... Arthur: What? Ford: Disturb you.
Not to mention the title of the book itself.
The book presents a greatly abridged list of rules for Brockian Ultra-Cricket (since the full set of rules is literally too large to exist in print). The final rule is: "The winning team shall be the first team that wins."
Arthur finds himself in a room carved out of the inside of a mountain that looks like it was carved out of the inside of a mountain.
"Anything that happens, happens. Anything that, in happening, causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen. Anything that, in happening, causes itself to happen again, happens again. It doesn’t necessarily do it in chronological order, though."
A particularly egregious example is found, in all places, in a poem by Wordsworth titled "The Thorn" where he describes a mossy mound as, "like an infant's grave in size." Later, he tells you, "The little babe was buried there." Why yes, William, an infant's grave has very similar dimensions to an infant's grave.
Though not commonly used in modern speech, there is a difference in meaning between intelligent (able to process information efficiently) and smart, which can mean either intelligent or wise (having acquired knowledge). But given who said that, it was unlikely he knew the difference either.
A Series of Unfortunate Events does this a lot with its embedded definitions matching subsequent descriptions. "The restaurant, which was very 'gaudy' (a word here which means 'filled with ugly neon lights') was filled with ugly neon lights."
Used with great effect in Thunderball. In it, to describe the room that Bond was given in the Shrublands health clinic, Ian Fleming worded it thusly: "It was a room-shaped room with furniture-shaped furniture and dainty curtains."
Also used in Goldfinger. Bond is briefed on the intricacies of the global gold market by one Colonel Smithers, who is described thusly:
Colonel Smithers looked exactly like a man named Colonel Smithers.
It's very common in Ankh-Morpork, where a previous Patrician of Ankh-Morpork banned all similes that cannot be proven true, a law Lord Vetinari still enforces—even a relatively benevolent dictator must have his fun. When "She had a face that launched a thousand ships" without historical evidence lands you in the crocodile pit, writing "She had a face that looked like a very beautiful face" is safer.
In Soul Music, just after Imp y Celyn meets his bandmates, Lias tells him that "rock" is speciesist slang for "troll" in Ankh-Morpork. "Free advice what I am giving you gratis for nothing." Then again, he's a troll in the relatively warm Ankh-Morpork—not good for the brains of a silicaceous species.
Neither is Scrape, a particularly wretched troll drug, which (combined with boyish shyness) might account for this flash of insight from the drug-addled Brick (in Thud!):
But Rust was always a man to interrupt an answer with a demand for the answer he was in fact interrupting.
A convoluted example appears in Hogfather, when Ridcully asks the Senior Wrangler why they always hang up mistletoe at UU's all-male Hogswatchnight dinner. The Wrangler's improvised answer, as Ridcully points out, is essentially that the mistletoe is an important symbol ... of mistletoe.
There's been a monster or two in the Discworld books with eyes the size of very large eyes.
In Making Money, Moist describes the Pink Pussycat Club as "an ogling establishment. For oglers."
The beginning of Guards! Guards! has "thieves thieved, assassins assassinated, and hussies hustled."
Another example of a repetitive place name comes from Dragaera. Bengloarafurd Ford, which means "Ford Ford Ford Ford Ford" in several different languages. Finally a bridge was built, and the place renamed to Bengloarafurd Bridge.
The novel The Phoenix Guards has a particularly egregious example in Bengloarafurd Ford, which due to a long history of changing hands in the endless Easterner/Dragaeran border skirmishes has a name that translates from several different dialects as "Ford ford ford ford".
"The Decline of Spain" is explained in a single sentence: "On October 8, 1565, Spain declined."
Millard Fillmore's name "has become synonymous, in American history, with the term 'Millard Fillmore.'"
According to another chapter, though Walter Mondale's campaign for President foundered, his running mate Geraldine A. Ferraro would become a footnote to history. This passage comes with a footnote: "Geraldine A. Ferraro."
Dave Barry In Cyberspace: "OK, here it is, page 367: A "BIOS ROM AUTOCACHE FORMAT ERROR" message indicates that there is an error in the BIOS ROM autocache format. That clears THAT up!"
P.J. O'Rourke describes the events of the 1991 post-Soviet revolution in Georgia, concluding "If none of this makes sense it's because — believe me, I was there — none of this makes sense."
Many things in The Lord of the Rings have names in Elvish. Sometimes, translations were provided. They were often arranged so as to sound like part of the name; if you translate all the Elvish, you discover characters called Greenleaf Greenleaf (Legolas) and Shipwright the Shipwright (Círdan), as well as a place called the plain of Battle Plain (Dagorlad).
Many of the Rohirrim have names like this, but in Anglo-Saxon. Théoden just means "king", for instance. So when other characters call him "Théoden King", they're calling him "King King".
Actual last names of zaddiks in Martin Buber's Tales of the Hasidim often consist of a word in Hebrew and its equivalent in Yiddish (ex. Zwi-Hirsch)
From The Fisherman and his Soul by Oscar Wilde: "They tempt me with temptations".
By Gertrude Stein: Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose...
Ernest Hemingway's reply: "A bitch is a bitch is a bitch is a bitch." Roddy Woomble adds, "Gertrude Stein says, 'That's enough.'" (from the song "Roseability", by Idlewild)
"Let things have been as they have been, nonetheless they've been somehow; so far it has never been that things would be nohow." - that's only one of the many golden thoughts by Josef Švejk, the main character of Jaroslav Hašek's opus magnumThe Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Švejk During the World War.
The Bible: God identifies himself to Moses as such: "I am what I am" (or "I am that I am"; the passage has led to many translation and interpretation issues).
Gerald Durrell's Three Singles To Adventure, one of his many autobiographical volumes, had this exchange during the purchase of a crab-eating raccoon in British Guyana:
Ivan: Sir, this boy says he has a crab-dog. Durrell: What's a crab-dog? Ivan: It's a sort of animal like a dog that eats crabs. Bob: That's what I like about Ivan, he's so lucid.
This trope was a standard literary device in the Roman literary repertoire. The best example is from The Aeneid, where Vergil writes sic ore locuta est - thus she spoke with her mouth.
The title of Al Franken's book, "Lies (And the Lying Liars Who Tell Them)"
In the novel Flora Segunda, the main character at one point describes "the monstrousness of [another character's] face in all its monstrousness".
In the sixth book of the Captain Underpants series, it is discovered that "organic orange-flavored oranges" are effective weapons against robotic booger monsters, since the booger monsters are apparently held together with cold viruses which are destroyed by Vitamin C.
The page quote is Willy Wonka describing his lickable wallpaper in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Granted, this isn't quite the same as other examples; he's saying that licking the image of a snozzberry — whatever that might be — on his wallpaper results in the taste of a real snozzberry. Still amusing, though.
Dracula has quite the morbid Crowning Moment of Funny when Van Helsing opens Lucy's coffin, revealing it empty, to try to prove to Dr. Seward that she's now a vampire.
Dr. Seward: I am satisfied that Lucy's body is not in that coffin, but that only proves one thing.
Van Helsing: And what is that, friend John?
Dr. Seward: That it is not there.
Van Helsing: That is good logic, so far as it goes.
"When I was a kid, I thought the Earth was flat. Then I learned in grade school, it was round. In high school I learned, it was a sphere. On college I learned, that it actually was a sphere flattened at the poles. On the university, I learned that it was a geoid. I looked up the word and found it meant 'Earth-shaped'."
A character in Take a Thief is referred to as having a "face-shaped face." This time, the lack of information itself conveys useful information: the character has no particular identifying traits and is easily lost in crowds.
In Gibson's Pattern Recognition, the protagonist is asked "So how was Tokyo?" and responds "It's more like it is now than it ever was."
In The Lorax, the Once-ler describes knitting his first Thneed "with great skillful skill and with great speedy speed."
A Georgian Poet wrote in his poem something like "And the Mother of god was coming... like the mother of god". As he later said in an interview, he couldn't find any suitable comparison for her.
MythBusters After Jamie has driven Adam blindfolded to a secret location:
Adam: Where are we?
Jamie: We're right here.
The narrator in "Thermite vs. Ice" says, when Adam expresses some doubt, "Adam thinks this myth is, well, a myth."
Seinfeld In "The Keys", Jerry and George are in Elaine's apartment, looking for Jerry's spare keys. George asks what they look like, to which Jerry responds: "Keys George, they look like keys. They look exactly like keys. (Mockingly) What do they look like."
In another episode we have Elaine's Big Salad, which is "like a salad... only bigger."
"The Deadly Assassin". All assassins are deadly, unless they are not good at their jobs (originally, it was titled "The Dangerous Assassin," which is not so much a tautology as a massive understatement). This was parodied with Doctor Who and the Curse of the Fatal Death. According to the DVD production notes, Robert Holmes, the story's author, didn't believe the title to be tautological as there were many incompetent assassins. The assassin in question actually manages to kill his target, never a sure bet when the person you're trying to kill may have 12 lives.
A character assassin would actually be pretty bad at his/her/its job if he/she/it was deadly.
Example from the new series ("The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky"):
The Doctor: The ATMOS System could make things worse. Rattigan: Yeah, well, you see, that's a tautology, 'cause ATMOS stands for Atmospheric Omission System, so you're saying "Atmospheric Omission System System". Do you see, Mister "Conditional Clause"?
"You're Mr. Thick Thick Thickety Thick-Face from Thicktown, Thickania. And so's your dad!"
"That's the headphones for Channels 1 to 36; modem link for 3D vidgames; complimentary earplugs; complimentary slippers; complimentary juice pack; and complimentary peanuts. I must warn you some products may contain nuts."
"The Time of Angels", Amy asks River what the Doctor is like in the future, and River says that "the Doctor... is the Doctor". Amy is unimpressed.
In "The Unicorn and the Wasp", when Donna is asked what she meant by a giant wasp, she answered, "I mean a wasp, that's giant!" She then expands on that thought: "When I say giant, I don't mean big, I mean flipping enormous!"
Brazilian comedy group Casseta & Planeta loves this trope. Examples from their first movie: "the Cup was conquered not only in definitive, but also forever", "women of the feminine sex" and "a just and filled with justice country".
Another Brazilian group, "Melhores do Mundo", has "He auto-self-suicided himself!"
Angus Deayton: Well, elephants would be elephant-sized.
Paul Merton: Would a baby elephant be elephant sized?
Angus Deayton: Well, that would be the size of a baby elephant.
The title of the series Unsolved Mysteries — well, if they were solved, they wouldn't be mysteries. Although perhaps the adjective is to distinguish it from the more common detective stories, which are labeled "mysteries" even though they end up solved.
The third episode has Buffy, all loopy from a spell, telling Xander "...you're my friend. You're my Xander-shaped friend!"
The fifth episode has Buffy and Xander discussing her failed attempt to date her broody classmate Owen:
Xander: You're acting a little overly, aren't you? I mean, you could have any guy in school.
Buffy: He's not just any guy. He's more...Oweny.
Xander: Sure, he's got a certain Owenosity, but that's not hard to find.
"Phases" has a bunch of them.
Willow: Well, last night was the night before the full moon, traditionally known as... 'the night before the full moon.'
Xander: You're Buffy. Eradicator of Evil. Defender of...things that need defending.
(Willow reporting that Oz is a werewolf)
He said he was going through all these changes. Then he went through all these... changes.
In the pilot, Buffy tells Giles that she's taken an early retirement, and suggests that if he's so keen on slaying, why doesn't he go slay vampires instead? Giles protests that he's a Watcher and his duty is to... "Watch?" Buffy pipes up.
After being inducted into the Scooby Gang ("The Harvest"), Xander and Willow are left discussing their new knowledge while the rest of the school parades around innocently. "It's like we got this big secret!"
Willow: [beat] We do. That's what a secret is, when you know something other guys don't.
Jenny Calender had a similar reaction to Giles demanding to know details of their "secret" date. ("Lie to Me") Unluckily for him, it was a monster truck rally.
To Willow's question about when the Reconstruction began, Buffy tries to focus and replies, " Um, Reconstruction...uh, Reconstruction began after the...construction, which was shoddy so they had to reconstruct." ("Angel")
In the same episode, Giles sits at Joyce's sickbed and chats about Buffy. Giles confesses that Buffy is having trouble in history class because she "lives very much in the now. And, um... history, of course, is very much about the, uh... the then."
In "School Hard", Buffy and Willow scurry around trying to keep Joyce and Snyder from exchanging words. Buffy, seeing Snyder coming, babbles that Joyce hasn't seen the boiler room yet.
Buffy: "The boiler room is really interesting! What with the boiler being in the room and all."
Oz complimenting Cordy's Halloween costume, which consists of a black unitard with cat ears and drawn-on whiskers. "You're like a big cat."
Ms. Calender apologizing to Giles for spying on him for over a year. ("Passion")
Jenny: I know you feel betrayed.
Giles: Yes, well, that's one of the unpleasant side effects of betrayal.
In "Anne", Cordelia seems to have a feeble grasp on what being "The Bait" entails.
Cordelia: What's the plan?
Xander: The vampire attacks you.
Cordelia: And then what?
Xander: The vampire kills you. We watch. We rejoice.
In "Earshot", One of the headlines in Freddy's school newspaper reads, "APATHY ON THE RISE — NO-ONE CARES."
One episode of Deadwood had this piece of dialogue as Merrick the newspaperman tries to write his newspaper:
Merrick: "The vaccine will be distributed gratis." Al: Free gratis. Merrick: Free gratis is a redundancy. EB: Does that mean "repeats itself"? Al: Then leave gratis out. Merrick: What luck for me Al, that you have such a keen editorial sense. "Free. Distributed Free. Period."
All Aussie Adventures' Russell Coight does this a lot:
"Australia. A land as ancient as it is old." "The symbol of this land, the majestic wedge-tailed eagle, named for its wedge-shaped tail and the fact that it's an eagle."
In the LazyTown episode "Rottenbeard", Robbie Rotten describes a treasure chest as "All locked up with locks".
Radar on M*A*S*H does this all the time, a running gag the actor invented for himself.
Radar: I'm looking for Mrs. Henry Blake. She's pregnant... with a baby and everything.
"Now, if we increase the size of the penguin so that it is the same size as the man, we see that the penguin's brain... is still smaller. But, and this is my point, it is LARGER than it WAS!"
In another sketch, nearly every word out of one character's mouth is an exploration of this trope: a dinosaur expert, Miss Anne Elk, being interviewed for television, repeatedly claims ownership of a theory in various tautological ways ("Well, this theory, that I have, that is to say, which is mine... is mine") and finally allows the interviewer to actually drag the Shaped Like Itself theory from her ("All brontosauruses are thin at one end; much, much thicker in the middle and then thin again at the far end. That is the theory that I have and which is mine and what it is, too.") Eventually the interviewer has to shoot her to keep her from going over the entire trope yet again with a second theory.
A Vox Pops from another episode had the following gem:
Vicar: I agree. If there were fewer robbers, there wouldn't be so many of them—numerically speaking.
Mal: Well, looks can be deceiving. Jayne: Not as deceiving as a low down... dirty... deceiver.
Jayne tends to do that a lot.
Jayne: She'll turn you in faster than you can say..."Don't turn me in, lady."
During its first season, NCIS was actually titled "Navy NCIS" until the producers realized that was redundant. Oops. (NCIS stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service, so there's no need to tack "Navy" in front of it.)
The subtitle for the first season was, egregiously, "Naval Criminal Investigative Service."
Not so egregiously, at the time CSI: Crime Scene Investigation was very popular and they wanted to distinguish themselves apart so viewers wouldn't mistake them for either the show itself or a spin-off.
A running gag throughout the show is the number of people they have to explain this to, because they've never heard of it, so the subtitle could be allowed. "Navy"...no.
Which itself became redundant after the show's popularity took off, which made the NCIS initialism so well known, it's now one of the best known government agencies, matching the FBI and CIA in identifiability.
Stargate SG-1 looks on the surface to be an example, because "SG" does stand for "Stargate". However, SG-1 is the name of the Four Man Band that goes through the stargate itself (as distinct from the other teams, SG-2 through SG-25), so this is, while slightly confusing, at least a partial aversion.
In Atlantis, there's a brief flash of a computer screen in the episode "McKay and Mrs. Miller" when we see the power levels of the ZPM Module. ZPM stands for Zero Point Module.
"Angie's so pretty. Looking at her is like looking at... something else pretty"
"25 years! Man, if you were dogs, that would be... 25 dog years"
Whose Line Is It Anyway? has its fair share of this for laughs, an example in one of the most famous sketches, The Cat (Improbable Mission: The laundry), has this little conversation:
Ryan: What was it?
Colin: A burnoose!
Ryan: Any idea what it looks like?
Colin: It looks like... a burnoose!
Northern Irish sit-com Give My Head Peace features two characters forming a loyalist pressure group called the "Protestant Loyalist Organisation for Protestants" after realising that the acronym of their first choice was already in use by the Palestinian Liberation Organisation.
"Don't you think robbing a bank is, well, tantamount to stealing, really?"
The Mentalist - in the first episode the mentalist Patrick Jane says of an over-enthusiastic crime scene person at the scene of the crime "He irks me. He's irksome."
One of the segments on the sketch comedy show The Edge was entitled "What the really bad author is doing RIGHT THIS MINUTE," wherein we would watch a writer compose such similes as "The rat ate the cheese like a rodent devouring fermented cow's milk."
In the ninth season premier of Scrubs Dr. Cox mentions that he can't stand when med students make him reiterate things "especially when I have already iterated them".
Malcolm, when he made himself dumb: "I can't believe the awesomeness of how awesome this is!"
In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Defiant", Commander Sisko offers Gul Dukat his assistance in tracking down and neutralizing the USS Defiant, which has been hijacked by a terrorist and brought into Cardassian territory.
Sisko: I helped design it. I know its vulnerabilities, and its weaknesses.
Although like the Intelligent/Smart comparison above, a vulnerability can be different than a weakness. For example, the battleship Yamato was one of the most heavily armored warships ever built. Had she ever engaged in a one-on-one fight with an American battleship, her heavy armor would have allowed her to withstand a substantial amount of fire from the 16" guns on the largest American battleships (the Iowa-class). She did possess a weakness however: Her larger 18" battery relied on manually acquiring a target, aiming, and range-finding, whereas her American counterparts possessed sophisticated radar-controlled target acquisition, range-finding and fire direction, providing them with much greater accuracy. This made Yamato no more vulnerable to enemy shell fire, but it was a glaring weakness in that her opponent would be able obtain a firing solution more quickly and could better evade return-fire from Yamato's more powerful battery (at the Battle of Surigao Strait the American battle line had the Japanese battleships targeted before they even knew they were there).
Similarly, in Star Trek: The Next Generation, at one point, Picard refers to the Klingon Imperial Empire. As opposed to those non-imperial empires out there.
Worse: there are empires in Star Trek that, in certain senses, are non-imperial. At the time, the Klingon Empire was one of them.
Star Trek: Voyager. An alien inventor describes his graviton catapult as "a device that can catapult a vessel across space, in the time it takes to say 'catapult a vessel across space'."
Seattle sketch comedy show Almost Live!had a skit where a man was sent to "Simile School" because he kept falling victim to this trope. "It's as great as... something that's really great!" "It's as slippery as... something that's really slippery!"
Abed: "9/11 was pretty much the 9/11 of the falafel industry."
On Saturday Night Live, Chris Farley's "motivational" speaker character Matt Foley had the Catch Phrase "You'll have plenty of time for [fill in the blank] when you're LIVING IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!" In his first appearance, the character played by guest host Christina Applegate became Genre Savvy.
Matt: Young lady, what do you want to do with your life? Stacy: [sarcastic] I want to live in a van down by the river. Matt: Well, you'll have plenty of time to live in a van down by the river when you're... [dramatic pause] ...LIVING IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!
Molly Connell, in the Leverage episode "The Carnival Job," she doesn't really have anyone to talk to these days. Except "Daria... our eastern-European housekeeper. Talking to her is like... talking to an eastern-European housekeeper."
In a flashback on the first season of LOST, Shannon is asked by Sayid to watch his bag and instead decides to report it as unattended. Leading to this:
In episode 2 of The Tudors Henry has received a copy of Machiavelli's The Prince from an Italian noble and is discussing it with Thomas More, and comes out with the rather...insightful comment "It is not like your book Utopia. It is less...utopian."
Cheech & Chong's "Basketball Jones". "That basketball was like a basketball to me!"
Similarly, "Albuquerque" by "Weird Al" Yankovic: "That snorkel's been just like a snorkel to me!"
The song "King of Spain" by Moxy Früvous has the line "a palatial palace, that was my home".
The song "Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)" has a tautology in its title (as well as chorus), though it seems to be paraphrasing Shakespeare (see above).
"The Future Soon" by Jonathan Coulton talks about "building inventions in my space lab in space". (The title line, "It's gonna be the future soon", may also be an example.)
Another one by Coulton is "That Spells DNA," with it's chorus "And DNA, baby, that spells DNA."
The song "Lady Aberlin's Muumuu" makes reference to being "shaped like a lady is shaped".
"Betty and Me" refers to a procedure being "legal in the states where it wasn't banned."
"Friends", by Ween. "A friend's a friend who knows what being a friend is!"
"Dirge" from "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum";
Miles Gloriosus:Light the pyre! Pseudolus:What kind of pyre? Miles Gloriosus:A pyre of fire! Pseudolus:Ohh, a fire-pyre!
This is even more tautological once you remember that "pyre" is the Greek word for fire, meaning that Pseudolus essentially said: "Ohh, a fire-fire!"
One line from the America song "Horse With No Name" goes "The heat was hot."
P!nk's "Family Portrait" contains the lyric "Your pain is painful". An especially unfortunate case of Narm because it occurs very early on in a serious ballad about a child whose parents are getting divorced... although it is a childlike thing to say.
Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs offered Paul McCartney a Certificate of Redundancy Certificate for the line "But if this ever-changing world in which we live in..." in "Live and Let Die" (it's argued to this date if the lyrics are that or "in which we're living")
There's also the borderline-meaningless credit often found in the liner notes of 80s-era rock albums on the Geffen label — "John Kalodner: John Kalodner" (Kalodner was from Geffen's A&R, and explains the origins of this credit here)
Weezer did something similar with their "fifth member" in the credits of Pinkerton: "Karl Koch: Karl Koch".
Likewise, British band The Happy Mondays credited one of their line-up as follows on Pills and Thrills and Bellyaches: "Bez:Bez". For those not familiar with their oeuvre, the main musical contribution of Bez (Mark Berry) was comically inept dancing and a bit of tambourine.
Arlo Guthrie begins his famous Shaggy Dog Story "Alices Restaurant" by informing the audience that "this song is called 'Alice's Restaurant.' It's about Alice, and the restaurant, but 'Alice's Restaurant' is not the name of the restaurant, that's just the name of the song. And that's why I call the song 'Alice's Restaurant.'"
Flight of the Conchords' "Rambling Through The Avenues Of Time" includes the line "her eyes were reflections of eyes".
Lucy: You're not afraid of a little pain, are you?
Linus: Of course I am. PAIN HURTS!!
One of the supporting characters in Popeye comics was George W. Geezil, a local cobbler. George hated Wimpy, often stating that Wimpy "should be killed to death". This carries over into the live-action film.
Professional Wrestling and Grappling Done at a Professional Level
WWE's Jack Swagger's Red Baron is "The All-American American". It has been parodied a couple of times. Most memorably when Shawn Michaels described Swagger as the "All-American American American American American". (Swagger, whether out of fondness for Michaels or amusement at the joke, has since adopted the term.)
After turning on his brother Bret Hart, Owen Hart, as is custom, cut a promo explaining the motivations for his Face-Heel Turn. Which he ended with a now-famous botched line, "And that's why I kicked your leg out from under your leg."
Back when ECW was an independent wrestling company, they had the website ecwwrestling.com. ECW wrestling. Extreme Championship Wrestling wrestling. That's been a rather common thing with many wrestling companies with the words in their acronyms. All WWE broadcasts end with the WWE logo and underneath it "WWE Entertainment", which comes out to "World Wrestling Entertainment Entertainment".
When he was still Mr. Kennedy (before he left WWE and became Mr. Anderson in TNA), Mr. Kennedy once introduced himself, perhaps referencing Austin Powers, by saying "Please allow myself to introduce myself!"
Stand Up Comedy Performed on Stage to Make People Laugh
British comedian Simon Munnery, in his stand up show Hello illustrates a point with a Venn diagram, consisting of two overlapping circles, one labelled Diagrams, one labelled Overlapping Circles and the overlap labelled Venn Diagrams.
Aziz Ansari: "Could you imagine blowing a guy (for a half hour!) for sold-out concert tickets and then finding out they're selling them at the door? That'd be like blowing a guy for a half hour for sold-out concert tickets and then finding out they're selling them at the door. There's no other way to complete that analogy 'cause that's the shittiest thing that could ever happen to you."
One of comedian Frank Caliendo's more famous routines is his John Madden impersonation routine, which uses Madden's own predilection for this and Captain Obvious combined with an impersonation both vocal and using body language to create comedy.
"You see, if the quarterback, if he catches the ball...in the other team's end zone, then that's gonna be a...that's gonna be a touchdown."
David O'Doherty (and possibly other comedians): 'My mum has taken to text messaging like a duck to text messaging' (Also a Bait and Switch).
Transmitted Wireless Radio
Adventures in Odyssey: Eugene temporarily moves in with Bernard while his dorm room is being fumigated, and it’s not long before they're at each other's throats.
Whit: I'm amazed that two grown men can't sit down and discuss their problems like... like two grown men!
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Zaphod lands in a cave made out of marble, and tries to compare it to the slipperiest thing Ford can think of. Unfortunately, the slipperiest thing Ford can think of is the marble, leading to the statement "This marble is as slippery as this marble."
Slartibartfast's workshop contains a chair that looks like it was made out of the ribcage of a Stegosaurus. "It was made out of the ribcage of a Stegosaurus," Slartibartfast explains.
There's also apparently a blue policeman that's "shaped like a policeman!"
And we mustn't forget "The Cricket Song" from Episode 15: "Our lovely world's so lovely. . ."
A guest on an NPR program once described "MRE meals". Meals-Ready-to-Eat meals.
The Goon Show: The episode "The Nadger Plague" features this opening narration: "It was in the year 1656 that the dreaded nadger plague swept across Europe like the Dreaded Nadger Plague of 1656."
Playable Tabletop Games That Can Be Played On Top Of A Table
Warhammer 40,000's fluff for the orks states that orks who have themselves wired into Killa Kans find that the biggest downside to being permanently sealed inside a giant metal can is being permanently sealed inside a giant metal can.
In Exalted, the Ebon Dragon's previous form was The Dragon's Shadow, which was the shadow of himself. His current form is the Dragon he was once merely the Shadow of. Should he ever be killed, he will rise again as a new Neverborn, The Dragon That Was.
The rules of Fluxx can be summed up thus: 1. The person who goes first is the person who goes first. 2. The person who goes second is the person who goes second. 3. The winner is the first person to win. All other rules will be in full view at all times that they are in play.
The game has some pretty hefty and thorough wording in its comprehensive rules, one of which amounts to: "the winner of the game is the sole remaining player that hasn't lost the game." Despite sounding pretty ridiculous, it actually serves to clarify that under normal tournament rules, there can't be more than one winning player or team. If something would knock out all players at the exact same time, then nobody "wins".
There's also the card Platinum Angel: "You can't lose the game and your opponents can't win the game." It's worded that way because if it just said "you can't lose" then your opponent couldn't win (see above), and if it just said "your opponent's can’t win" then you couldn't "lose" (also see above) (this doesn't create the nonsensical state, though, because Platinum Angel's effect would end when you left the game and then the opponent would be the sole remaining player and thus would win). Even worse, it's necessary that the card specify "the game" and the rules clarify what the term means, as (while this should never happen in a tournament setting) there are ways in which you can be forced into playing additional games against the same opponents and there are ways in which a card played by somebody who isn't even in your game can affect it. It's still theoretically possible to start a game, play Platinum Angel at some point before that game ends, and lose the game without Platinum Angel having left play... but the text makes it as difficult to arrange as possible.
This is also seen one of Doug Beyer'snote head of the Magic Creative team quotes:
Doug: Phyrexians, generally speaking, look like Phyrexians.
Can be done in Apples To Apples. You can match "Fuzz" to "Fuzzy" or "United States of America" to "American."
Sir Andrew: To be up late is to be up late! ... Feste: For, as the old hermit of Prague, that never saw pen and ink, very wittily said to a niece of King Gorboduc, "That that is is;" so I, being Master Parson, am Master Parson; for, what is "that" but "that", and "is" but "is"? ... Olivia: What kind o' man is he? Malvolio: Why, of mankind.
As does Timon of Athens:
Timon: If there sit twelve women at this table, let a dozen of them be as they are. ... Apemantus: Where liest o' nights, Timon? Timon: Under that's above me. Where feed'st thou o' days, Apemantus? Apemantus: Where my stomach finds meat; or, rather, where I eat it.
Don Pedro: Officers, what offence have these men done? Dogberry: Marry, sir, they have committed false report; moreover, they have spoken untruths; secondarily, they are slanders; sixth and lastly, they have belied a lady; thirdly, they have verified unjust things; and, to conclude, they are lying knaves.
Also Don Pedro's reply: "First, I ask thee what they have done; thirdly, I ask thee what's their offence; sixth and lastly, why they are committed; and, to conclude, what you lay to their charge."
Pseudolus: Of course I know what this is. This is... writing. And a pretty piece of work it is too.
Pseudolus: I know what it says here: Words!
In the Last Supper scene of Jesus Christ Superstar, Jesus expresses his contempt for Judas's treachery by exclaiming, "You liar! You Judas!"
In Art by Yasmina Reza, Serge describes "a man of his time" as "a man who lives...in his own time."
Later, Yvan shares an insight from his therapist:
Yvan: If I'm who I am because I'm who I am, and you're who you are because you're who you are, then I'm who I am and you're who you are. If on the other hand, I'm who I am because you're who you are, and if you're who you are because I'm who I am, then I'm not who I am and you're not who you are. Marc: How much do you pay this man?
Many characters throughout the Sonic the Hedgehog series are named after color schemes (Shadow, Silver, Rouge) or some obvious physical trait (Tails and Knuckles).
Shadow the Hedgehog's theme song: Starts with "I am all I am I all I am." then goes to "I am, I am I'm all of me." and then on the last verse takes it Up to Eleven with "I am, I am everyone, everywhere, any how, any way, any will, any day..."
The combat system of Heroes of Might and Magic allows for some... interesting occurrences, such as "The Stone gargoyles have been turned to stone!"
The item description for a lemon in Kingdom of Loathing is "This is a lemon. It's shaped exactly like a lemon." A lime's description is "This is a lime. Like a lemon, it's shaped like a lemon. Unlike a lemon, it's a lime."
One of the main locations in the game is the Mysterious Island of Mystery.
Quoth one adventure, "You should not be here! You should really beat feet! / If those demons find you, you're dead as dead meat!"
The item description for the Staff of the Staff of Life states that while "if you think about it, a loaf of bread is like a staff"... even if you don't think about it, "a staff with a loaf of bread on it is even more like a staff."
The consumption message on the Bottle of Wine: "You drink the bottle of wine. It tastes like wine, with subtle overtones of wine, and also a faint aftertaste of wine. "
Fallout 1 includes a Cathedral of the Children of the Cathedral. They're not even sure why they say Cathedral twice.
Ragnarok Online has an item called Earthen Bow. Its description is as such: "A bow that looks like it is made in a natural way, making it look like it looks quite natural."
Unique monsters in Diablo II have random name generators. Results? Bloodcloud the Cloud, and such...
Stone Skin. Modifiers: Undead, Stone Skin.
It can also happen with the stock effect phrases for random loot names, such as a light leather belt that increases your light radius in dark places, or as the game calls it, a "Light Belt of Light." While this is not technically redundant since the item in question is a light(weight) belt that produces light(illumination), it still sounds funny.
Then there are the skills that let you interact with corpses. While you've got one selected, mousing over a body will display its name as "<monster name> Corpse", which is sensible enough. However, due to the way some monsters are named, it occasionally throws up such gems as "Decayed Corpse Corpse" or "Corpse Axe the Dead Corpse".
There is a Commodore-64 game titled Killed Until Dead. (The notion of killing someone to death sure seems to be popular...)
In the Polish translation of Neverwinter Nights, one of the soundsets has a line Zabiję cię! Zabiję na śmierć!, which means exactly I'll kill you! I'll kill you to death!!
In Saints Row, one of your lieutenants points out that calling Los Carnales, a rival gang, "The Los Carnales" is redundant, since "Los" means "The." He gets upset later on when he accidentally calls them "The Los Carnales."
It's very common to see users on World of Warcraft saying something along the lines of "Please PST me", not knowing that PST is an abbreviation for "Please Send Tell".
Also, Looking For Group or Looking For More/Mate can mean the same thing in real life, but LFG and LFM mean you're alone or you have some other guys respectively.
Enraged Crusher has become enraged!
The Western title of the game Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven essentially translates to "Heaven's Wrath: Wrath of Heaven"
In EarthBound, when the librarian in Onett gives you the map item, she helpfully informs you that "all the info is there, except the info that isn't there".
Any time John Madden is in a football game, such as Madden NFL, he uses such sounds-like-itself phrases as, "You know, the receiver can't catch the ball if the quarterback doesn't throw it!" or "Usually, the team with the most points wins!"
Anachronox's super-villain Rictus says one line, a slight variation of the main example.
La-Mulana features the Hell Temple, which starts off with a tablet describing the place as one that none should enter and only for those with no sense of regret, before concluding, "Hell Temple is hell!"
In Mass Effect 3, if your FemShep is romancing Kaidan he will come to her room for a "quick drink" and upon realizing how depressed she is, tries to comfort her by saying "Look, it's gonna be... it's gonna be what it is."
Actual Tomba! 2 dialogue: "It's a fire hammer. It's a hammer with the power of fire."
In The Sims, the description for the Oval Glass Sconce reads, "It's Oval!!! It's Glass!!! It's a Sconce!!!"
In The Sims Medieval, a bit of quest dialogue refers to an item your hero is carrying as a "mouse-filled bag of mice."
In the Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Brady Games player's guide, its explanation on the monsters in the game on page 41 has this as its first line, "The strange creatures you see are creatures."
What about Franziska von Karma's foolery in the second Ace Attorney game? "Foolish fool who foolishly dreams of foolish dreams." Also, "A fool is a fool who will only listen to the foolish opinions of other foolish fools." The list goes on and on…
Alistair in Dragon Age: Origins, on Morrigan: "Beautiful just like...like something that's also dangerous. Like a...beautiful dangerous thing."
Alistair's initial description of Morrigan as "some kind of sneaky... witch thief!".
In Awakening, the description of Oghren's unique battle-axe;
Oghren called this axe the "Darkspawn Ravager"... because that's what it does.
In Left 4 Dead 2's Dark Carnival campaign, there's a lot of posters for a Fake Band named the Midnight Riders. Each band member has their own title, like "The Lover", "The Drinker", or "The Brawler". Ox, the drummer, gets a title of "The Drummer".
In BlazBlue, resident Cloud Cuckoo Lander Taokaka is Taokaka. Which is her answer to the question of who or what she is when asked "who/what are you?"
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night features a sword named Gram, the description of which reads "The sword named Gram." It also features a sword named Harper. The description for it reads "The sword named Harper."
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 1: Homestar Ruiner revolves around the big "Race to the End of the Race". In Episode 2: Strong Badia The Free, all the characters create their own independent countries, including the eponymous Strong Badia, Marzistar/Homezipan, The Homsar Reservation, and Strong Mad's country of... Country.
Averted with the voice command for calling someone a Spy in Team Fortress 2: using it with your cursor over any given player will result in saying "that [class] is a Spy", but if you use it on someone who already looks like a friendly Spy but may be an enemy Spy, the lines are along the lines of "that's Spy isn't on our side".
The Cursed Shield in Final Fantasy VI (SNES version) has the item description of "Is cursed".
In Max Payne 3, the Unidade de Forças Especiais are a special forces unit of military police. The name translates from Portuguese as "Special Forces Unit".
In Mount & Blade, weapons and armour can come with random modifiers in their names such as "Balanced", "Rusted", "Bent", "Strong", "Ragged" etc. Two items in the game are the Ragged Outfit and the Strong Bow. It is consequently possible to find a Ragged Ragged Outfit and a Strong Strong Bow.
Who hasn't said "RPG games" at some point?
In "Final Fantasy IX" there is a weapon called "Mythril Dagger". Its description reads "Thief's dagger made of mythril."
The Cheat Theme Song: Who's the man that looks like The Cheat? The Cheat! The Cheat! Strong Bad: My internet's crawling along like... something... funny... that crawls along. Homestar Runner: If I had to pick one word to describe myself, it would probably be... Fluffy Puff Marshmallows. Or Homestar. Either one, really. They both fit.
Strong Bad: I dunno. Maybe he's just going to the ATM machine. Strong Mad: THAT'S REDUNDANT!
"Teeeen Girl Squaaaad! Teenage girls between the ages of thirteen and nineteen!"
How about "Count Longardeaux's Strong Badian Jerktionary Fo' My Own Words!", or "Count Longardeaux's Strong Badian talkwords for saying from your mouth" for short.
Zero Punctuation: "If you find the Japanese offensive, then you'll find this game offensively Japanese."
To be fair, what he means is that the game in question is Japanese to a potentially offensive degree; it's like saying "If you like the colour red, you'll find this pleasantly red" to indicate that something is quite red indeed.
"Clive Barker's 'Clive Barker's Jericho' by Clive Barker".
Certain place names, such as Wooden Forest or Sunken Valley. In fact, most place names in the comic are either this trope or Exactly What It Says on the Tin. If not both.
Elan tells Haley he would like to see her come back from a dangerous fight "in one big Haley-shaped piece."
Xykon gives us this: "You know what does equal power? Power. Power equals power. Crazy, huh?" Given the situation and that he is using it to make a point about the difference between having real power and only pretending to (going on to say "But the type of power? Doesn't matter as much as you'd think."), it's justified.
A line from the mentally unstable Crystal:
Crystal: Our thieves are only allowed to steal from the people that our thieves are allowed to steal from!
Bozzok: My employee's circular logic notwithstanding, she is correct.
Dinosaur Comics devotes an entire comic to defining and demonstrating pleonasms: "Hey, T-Rex, do you want to drink some cola-flavored Coca-Cola brand carbonated cola beverages? Perhaps afterwards we'll take the public transport large road vehicle bus and buy with money or credit some submarine sub sandwiches?" Also, in T-Rex's book for children: "Happy Dog the happy dog is the happiest dog on his street!"
Der Trihs: Have you considered that maybe, just maybe, the killer committed the crime and made it look like a shark attack because the killer was hungry, and happened to be a shark? (Beat Panel) Policeman: You obviously know nothing about police work.
For this, Massey hit the local police with what he calls "the 'impersonating a police force' suit". In other news, Serge failed to realize why "the crew-mullet" is called so (and is still here).
Linkara's Top 15 Worst Moments of Countdown to Final Crisis declares the number 1 moment to be Countdown itself, justified by saying that Countdown will undoubtedly go down in comics history as nothing more than a moment.
In Silent Hill: The Grinning Man, he responds to a character claiming to be happier than a pig in shit by stating himself to be as bored as a person that's bored.
27b/6: "The product, misrepresented as 'Natural Black' instead of 'Astro Boy black', turned my hair as dark as an adequate simile describing just how black it actually was and stained my forehead and ears purple."
How To Basic delves into this sometimes. For example, the instructions on how to make beef jerky included dropping a generous ammount of pre-packaged beef jerky into the mess.
Shadow of the Let's Play show Super Playify said, of Arnval in Otomedius Excellent, "Seriously, she looks like Ann from Busou Shinki". To be fair to him, the conversation (including the name he used for her) showed that he was only familiar with the anime, not the toy line, and the whole point of Super Playify is that the players go in canonblind, so he couldn't have known that Konami stuffed a lot of characters from their other properties into it.
Of course, "he-man" did have the advantage of being a real word.
Dr Zoidberg pulled a truly spectacular five-hit combo on Futurama: "My next clue came at 4:15, when the clock stopped. And another came two hours later at 4:15, when I discovered the murdered body of Amy's dead, deceased corpse."
And in another episode:
Fry: I'm literally angry with rage!
Fry: There, on the screen! It's that guy you are!
Lampshaded in the commentary:
"I love when Fry forgets how to talk."
Subverted in the episode "Crimes of the Hot", where Professor Farnsworth receives a Polluting Medal of Pollution, whose name appears to be redundant but actually refers to the fact that it's a pollution-related medal that releases pollution itself.
The New Justice Team from "Less Than Hero"
Go, go, go New Justice Team Go team, go team, team team team Who's that newest Justice Team? The New Justice Team Captain Yesterday is fast Also he is from the past Not just fast but from the past Captain Yesterday! Super King has all the powers of a King Plus all the power of Superman, Also he's a robot Ain't it cool? Super King you rule! Cloberella beats you up Cloberella beats you up Who does she beat up? You!! Cloberella! Citizens, never fear Crazy do-good freaks are here Until they run out of steam... Miracle cream, miracle cream Gives the power to the team Its effects wear off for sure So they just slop on some more. The New Justice Team!
Also, in the first "Anthology of Interest" episode, when Fry causes a rift in the time space continuum after not falling into the cryogenic freezer:
Al Gore: You fool! You foolish fool!
"The Deep South" has:
Farnsworth: Fry, you half-mad, half-insane maniac! Be reasonable!
In "The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings," after Bender protests to the Robot Devil that he is unwilling to make a deal:
Robot Devil: Really? There's nothing you want?
Bender: Hmmm. I forgot you could tempt me with things I want...
"Yeah. We were flying to Mojo Jojo's house. I like flying. Oh, and then there were these really pretty clouds. And there was one that was shaped like a heart, and there was this one that looked like a pretty pony, and there was one that looked like a cloud..."
And then there was the time when Bubbles suffered from Easy Amnesia and thought she was Mojo...
In the episode "Phineas and Ferb Get Busted", the song "Little Brothers" manages to be both touching and hilarious because of the refrain:
You will always be my little brothers Because you're younger, we're related And you're boys
In "The Ballad of Badbeard", Dr. Doofenshmirtz has a pair of crocodiles, both named Susan, in his new evil lair. "I named them after each other!"
"Not Phineas and Ferb" brings us "Space Adventure! It's an adventure in space!"
In "Skiddley Whiffers", Dr. Doofenshmirtz claims "Fire is the leading cause of fire."
In "Ask a Foolish Question", after trapping Perry in a block of cement, Doofenshmirtz says "Welcome, Perry the Platypus. How do you like your trap? That's super quick drying cement. See? (Knocks on the cement) Solid as a, uh... I dunno, some rock-like substance. Cement, maybe!"
In the Disney version of Robin Hood, a group of two boys and two girlsnote Three of them are rabbit siblings, while the other is a turtle has this chant:
Spider, snakes and a lizard's head If I tattletale, I'll die till I'm dead.
Carmine, a parasitic talent agent who lived in Zorak's throat on The Brak Show did this a lot.
Carmine: That voice of yours is a goldmine. That's right, a mine fulla gold! Carmine: Mansionland, that's right, a land fulla mansions!
Early Cuyler and most of the other characters on Squidbillies are prone to this from time to time. With such lines as "Worky jobs" and "money checks".
"Thirty five dollars a month?! Monthly?! Every month?!"
Early: And I was gonna ventilate yo head brain with this here gun bullet. Lerm: Gun bullet, heh, that's redundant.
From El Tigre, "We got you a present, for you to have."
Bloat: You're from the Big Blue? What's it like? Nemo: Well, it's, uh, big, and it's blue. Bloat: I knew it!
The Latin-American translation is funnier because Bloat instead of replying "knew it" He says "that's weird."
Clone High: JFK's attempt at being threatening to Abe and Gandhi in the bathroom.
JFK: I will see you there! And by will, I mean won't! (Laughs and leaves) (Returning) Cos you're not invited. I, er, wasn't sure if I was clear earlier. So... you're not. Invited, that is. (Leaves) (Returns) To my party! (Leaves) (Returns) Forgot to wash my hands!
Twelve Ounce Mouse: "Then aspirin was invented, the common cure for things that aspirin cures."
The wonderful thing about tiggers, is tiggers are wonderful things. And Tigger is the only one.
When introduced to "The Black Raven" in Wakfu, Yugo immediately points out that all ravens are black, and he and his friends attempt to find him a better name.
In The Lion King, "Simba" translates to "lion" in Swahili. So they effectively named the lion in The Lion King "lion".
One of the best-named cartoon villains ever is WordGirl's Lady Redundant Woman.
Mr. Big claims The Thing is "scientifically designed by scientists."
Invoked by The Question in episode "Question Authority", to prove the whole conspiracy behind Lex Luthor's presidential campaign (harkening back to the parallel universe from "A Better World", in which Luthor had become President and killed Flash as part of his plans):
Everything that exists has a specific nature. Each entity exists as something in particular and has certain characteristics that are part of what it is. "A" is "A"... And, no matter what reality he calls home, Luthor is Luthor.
This makes more sense if you realize that "A is A" is the Objectivist law of identity (and the rest of it is basically just an expansion on that). The character in question (sorry) was created by an Objectivist and, in the original comics, would usually say it at least once a story, so it's more of a Shout-Out.
In the Maryoku Yummy episode "The Ninth Wish," when Shika confiscates the eponymous wish (as wishsitters are only allowed to watch eight wishes at a time), Fij Fij worries that Shika won't let it have any fun, and Ooka adds, "Or give it any hugs!" This prompts Maryoku to say, "Without fun and hugs, that poor little wish will be... without fun and hugs!"
In "Scatterday," Shika reads the rules for Scatterday, the second of which is "The first one to find the Scatter Crown is the first one to find the Scatter Crown."
In the It's a Wonderful Life send-up from the Beavis and Butt-Head Christmas Special, Butthead encounters Beavis in a Butthead-free world, and calls him a "bunghole". Beavis asks what that is, and Butthead replies, "You're a bunghole, bunghole!"
Hana Mana Ganda Hana Mana Ganda We translate for you. "Hana" means what "mana" means And "ganda" means that too!
The Non-Fictitious Real World That is Real
One of the definitions and goals of Metaphysics—the Philosophy not the other stuff—is this. Namely "how to say something and have meaning." E.g. a circle is red vs. a circle is a circle. This happens because if you want pure knowledge you strip the things that can vary, namely empirical observation. (It's a bird, no it's a plane.) With those gone the only 100% sure things are tautologies. Getting beyond that is the metaphysicist's job.
In mathematics, the Identity Postulate is X = X.
Some people write the word that a symbol represents afterwards, e.g. "10% percent" or "$20 dollars".
This can be used in SQL Injection attacks against authentication forms. When the input isn't treated separately from the code you can 'OR' the check with a tautology in an input field, such that the result is always true. In badly designed systems this means you'll automatically get access. For example, enter the username and password: ' OR 'A' = 'A (with exactly those quotes).
The El Niño current is practically saying "The The Boy Current"; the male and female articles "El" and "La" from Spanish are treated in this way a lot, hey, even Spanish has words (of Arabic origin) through that process, and they got to English... Alchemy (from Alquimia from, according to most sources, "Al Khmi", "the black earth", as opposed to barren sand, made right with the words "Quimica" and "Alquimia"), Alfajor ("Al Fasur"; The Nectar, The Fancy/Great Sweets) and Alligator (El lagarto; The Lizard)
Many American Beverages read "Naturally flavored with other natural flavors."
The Alhambra. It was originally al-Qasr al-Hamra ("The Red Fortress") in Arabic, then passed into Spanish as "la Alhambra." So basically its current name is not from what it is, but what color it is, and has too many definite articles to boot.
The Alicorn (the horn of a unicorn or the material of which it is made, now often used as the term for winged unicorns) has it worse. The name began in Latin, passed into Arabic, and then into English. The definite article in Arabic (al) was added to the word when it cam into English, and the definite article in Latin (li) was added when it came into Arabic, so it can be translated as "The The The Horn".
Similarly, The El Alamein battle, translated from the various languages it's passed through (Arabic->Spanish->English), means "the the the two flags battle."
"Ramen Noodles". The "men" or "mein" in the word is the Japanese and Chinese word for noodles (probably).
RAS (Redundant Acronym Syndrome) syndrome, the condition afflicting such common phrases as "PIN (Personal Identification Number) number," "ATM (automatic teller machine) machine," "MLB (major league baseball) baseball," "RAS (redundant acronym syndrome) syndrome," and many others. PIN Number, when spoken (rather than typed), however, is apparently not redundancy but instead serves as clarification. In case someone thought you were asking for the other type of pin, presumably.
The English (possibly Welsh) placename 'Torfell Hill' contains three different versions of the English language, each of which says 'hill' in their own way. At some time, of course, the place was 'the tor' (simply the local hill above the village); then, most likely, it became, after the language moved on; 'tor fell' (which means 'hill hill'); and to cap the redundancy level, it later became, after another local language upgrade, 'Torfell Hill!'. Pendle Hill has a similar issue in Lancashire.
They had some fun on QI with that sort of thing. Torpenhow though is a compound word of Tor (meaning hill), Pen (meaning hill), and how (meaning hill), so Torpenhow Hill means Hill Hill Hill Hill. They mentioned more examples.
Similarly, Bredon Hill, which is now officially a mountain; making it Hillhill hill mountain.
Also in the UK, the River Avon (with several towns including Shakespeare's birthplace named after their being built alongside it) is named from the Welsh word for River.
There are multiple rivers named Avon, and multiple towns named Stratford, though apparently only one is on an Avon (that being Stratford-upon-Avon, Will's aforementioned home town).
And the same applies to several rivers called Ouse, into one of which Virginia Woolf walked with her pockets full of stones. In fact, many British rivers turn out to have names that were pre-Celtic tribal words for 'river'. In much the same way that Londoners tend to speak of 'The River' meaning the Thames.
This happens, it seems, because the Romans drew maps giving rivers names to tell them apart, and were slow to catch on that cultures which didn't draw maps didn't- a river to an ancient Celt was just 'river'- or, indeed, 'avon'. It was a real-life version of the'Terry Pratchett Surly Native School of Place Naming' (see 'Discworld' above.)
Some Republican candidates would rather ballots list their party affiliation as "GOP Party". "GOP" stands for "Grand Old Party."
Very common in the US sports media, particularly when they refer to acronyms of college sports conference names and forget that the C at the end always stands for "Conference": ACC conference, SEC conference, WAC conference, MAC conference, etc.
Inverted in the case of a [NIC Card], which is used for networking. Most people think it stands for Network Interface Card, when the C is actually Controller and not redundant at all.
Similarly "PDF file" is perfectly well-formed, expanding to "portable document format file".
Plato is fond of philosophizing about how "beauty is a thing that possesses beauty," in his dialogs. He also devotes passages to explain how even numbers can never be odd, which should be apparent by definition.
People who order "chai tea". Cause chai means... yeah. Chai is traditionally spiced tea with steamed milk and sugar. A Chai latte is spiced (tea/coffee) with steamed milk and sugar with steamed milk and sugar.
"Chai" is a generic word for tea in most Indian languages, as well as Russian and many other. It means spiced milk tea only in English, because of the Indian influence, and isn't really a tautology outside of it.
Some restaurants have Soup of the Day. Some restaurants Soupe du Jour. And then some restaurants sell Soupe du Jour of the Day — Soup of the Day of the Day.
Many restaurants that sell French dip sandwiches offer them "with au jus sauce". "Au jus" is French for "with juice".
Another example is the dish lobster scampi. "Scampi" being Italian for "lobster from the Adria," you're eating Mediterranean lobster lobster.
The Los Angeles Angels baseball team. When translated, it comes out to "The The Angels Angels." You could be pedantic and translate it as "The Angels of 'The Angels'". Yes, a team called "The Angels" from a place also called "The Angels". Makes more sense. Officially, they're the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Or you could be even more pedantic, and say that it's really "El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula" Angels, which translates to "The Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of the Piglet River" Angels, which, while it sounds weird, isn't actually an example of this trope.
Similarly, "The LaBrea Tar Pits" are actually "The The Tar Tar Pits".
Often seen on packets of cigarettes and/or tobacco:
"WARNING! Smoking may lead to life-threatening cancer." As opposed to the slightly annoying, non-life-threatening variety. It's also known as Basal-cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer which is very rarely life-threatening.
This was "predicted" by Yes, Minister, which had Bernard suggesting a warning label along the lines of "Dying of lung cancer can be hazardous to your health."
Similar to how some side effects of certain drugs can lead to "heart attacks, stroke, sudden loss of consciousness, and death." As if the previous symptoms couldn't lead to death. This is actually an aversion though since side effects of side effects aren't usually listed.
Averted in the MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System). While it seems that them always reminding you that "cheating is strictly forbidden" means "breaking the rules is against the rules", it actually states that breaking the rules is not allowed, turning the rules into laws (in this context).
The Connecticut River translates into the "Beside The Long Tidal River River".
The Ohio River translates into the "Large River River".
The Mississippi River translates as "Great River River".
Many who insist on using the indigenous name will put it between "the" and "people". Many names for ethnic groups are simply ''their word'' for "people". As a result, we have "the people people"
Many foreign phrases are used wrong, like "the hoi polloi" (the the masses).
Jeb Bush's first name stands for John Ellis Bush.
Similarly, there is a local thrift store / charity / volunteer organization called "The LISTEN Center". LISTEN stands for "LISTEN In Service To Every Neighbor". So, The L(((isten In Service To Every Neighbor)isten In Service To Every Neighbor )isten In Service To Every Neighbor)... Center.
Two major users and/or abusers of tautologies in real life are Yogi Berra and David Coleman.
Some Yogi tautologies (there's so many they have their own name, Yogisms) are:
"Ninety percent of putts that fall short don't go in." "It ain't over till it's over." "It's like déjà vu all over again." "Half the lies they tell me aren't true." "If I didn't wake up, I'd still be sleeping." "You can observe a lot by watching." (after watching a Steve McQueen movie) "He must have made that when he was alive."
Of course, Yogi Berra collected all the things he said — and that other people said that he said — in the book "I Really Didn't Say Everything I Said". So he may have said everything listed here, except for the ones he didn't say.
Some Coleman tautologies ("Colemanballs") are:
"If that had gone in, it would have been a goal." "The Italians are hoping for an Italian victory." "Forest have now lost six matches without winning."
A startling number of the coaches' comments on pregame sports programs boil down to, "The key to winning tonight is to score more points than the other guys and stop them from doing the same."
Football commentator John Madden is either infamous or popular (depending on whether you like his commentary or not) for this kind of commentary. People either love or hate him for it depending on what they think of it.
Brazilian commentator Galvão Bueno is a Captain Obvious with a tendency for this as well - "Argentina is Argentina!", "If the ball doesn't enter, it isn't goal!", "The game only finishes when it ends"...
Bjorn Borg, on How to Win in Tennis: I have to hit the ball over the net one more time than the other guy.
Also stemming from the world of sports (probably): [Person] being [Person]. "Manny being Manny" may not have actually been the first one, but it was the one that started the craze of referring to everyone who's a little bit quirky in this fashion. Then again, maybe it was the first: It was shown that this line was first quoted in print way back in 1995, Manny's second, strike-shortened, full year in the big leagues.
It had existed in some form at least a decade-and-a-half earlier with "Let Reagan be Reagan."
And let us not forget Brooke Shields' immortal testimony before Congress: "Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life."
Not to mention the various misstatements made by Dan Quayle. Including the following (probably apocryphal) one:
"If we don't succeed, we run the risk of failure." "The future will be better tomorrow."
"If we played like that every week we wouldn't be so inconsistent" — Bryan Robson.
Six words: "Wherever you go, there you are."
For that matter, "You are here."
According to email legend, there is a train station somewhere in Japan which has a large sign stating "YOU ARE HERE" on the wall. And no map.
Around the student campus of a Finnish university, there's a sign with only the words "you are here" (in Finnish) and a large red dot. There is also a corresponding half-a-meter diameter red circle painted on the ground next to the sign.
In the US military, unclassified computer systems are logged into with a "Common Access Card", which true to its name, is the same basic ID card used for everything else. This is shortened to CAC (pronounced "cack"). Many people insist on the phrase "CAC card". Unfortunately, said individuals tend to be your commanding officer.
Similarly, Disneyland gives guests with disabilities that aren't necessarily visible a Guest Assistance Card, also known as a GAC, or "GAC card."
"No Unauthorised Access" is the same as "No Trespassing", only worse. If you think about it, what it says is that if you're not allowed to enter, then you're not allowed to enter.
Possibly more egregious is "Unauthorized Access is Prohibited"
PHP. It currently stands for PHP Hypertext Preprocessor. It meant Personal Home Page before, but marketing thought it wasn't enterprisey enough. That sound you just heard was your brain short-circuiting.
Wine = Wine Is Not an Emulator. Wine is not an emulator, but a 'compatibility layer' — the distinction comes about because in technical jargon, an 'emulator' mimics the processor or operating system of a computer, while a compatibility layer merely 'fools' the processor or OS into accepting an otherwise-incompatible program.
Unix is rife with this sort of thing. For example, the ELM email client stands for "ELectronic Mail."
And ELM, of course, was superseded by the PINE email client (literally, "PINE Is Nearly ELM"). PINE's own successor, Alpine, doesn't seem to stand for anything.
This was parodied in a Dilbert strip, where the TTP acronym stood for "The TTP Project."
The winner of the recursive acronyms, though, is the co-recursive HURD... which, in addition to being a pun on "herd", stands for "HIRD of Unix-Replacing Daemons", where HIRD stands for "HURD of Interfaces Representing Depth".
TLA = Three Letter Acronym, XTLA = eXtended Three Letter Acronym (4 letters).
Or ETLA = Extended Three Letter Acronym and ELTLA = Even Longer Three Letter Acronym
The above actually are not as self-referential as they're trying to be - they're initialisms, not acronyms, as they cannot themselves be easily read out as words. *TLI would have been playing it straight, though.
DELTA = Double Extended Three Letter Acronym
FLAW = Four Letter Acronymic Word.
SINE Is Not EMACS
EINE Is Not EMACS
ZWEI Was EINE Initially (Double points for the German numbering) "Eins" is the German word for "One" and "Zwei" the word for "Two"
"Drugs and alcohol," even though alcohol is a drug.
Even worse is "alcohol and substance abuse," since the term "substance abuse" was coined specifically to include both alcohol and illegal drugs.
Several anti-drug campaigns now feature the term "alcohol and illegal drugs..." However, this is just as bad: these ads are targeted towards minors, to whom alcohol is an illegal drug... Largely this can be said to be a form of Stealth Cigarette Commercial: the term "drugs" has been so linked, morally to "illegal drugs" that even anti-drug groups are shy about associating things like Alcohol and Tobacco with the phrase, even though they both meet the technical requirements.
Ah, so 'legal' drugs are ok. Pass me that benzadrine.
The term "LCD display". LCD stands for "liquid crystal display". At least, with "screen" and "monitor" and other terms being used as LCD becomes a more common term, "LCD display" itself is becoming less common.
However, be careful: an "LED display" is perfectly unexceptionable, since it expands out to "light emitting diode display".
In Mathematics, there is the Reflexive Property. It states that any value is equal to itself.
A lot of theorems in calculus tell you that what you think happens happens. This led to the following joke:
Q: What's a small red round thing with a cherry pit inside? A: A cherry. This is sometimes known as The Cherry Theorem.
"We'll be okay unless something unforeseen happens, but quite frankly, I can't foresee that happening."
RSVP is an abbreviation for Répondez, s'il vous plaît, which is French for "Respond, please". So any party invitation that requests that you "please RSVP" is being unintentionally needy: "please respond, please."
A particularly stupid example: in rebranding, the Federal Express corporation named one of their subsidiaries FedEx Express.
There is a well-known vendor of graphics processor chips formerly known by the name "ATI Technologies Inc.". "ATI" originally stood for "Array Technologies Incorporated".
There is a WWI Era song to the tune of auld lang syne where the lyrics are "We're here because we're here because we're here because...". No, really. It's in Horrible Histories and everything.
This was a bit of gallows humour over the fact that most of the troops had no idea why they were there due to the incredibly complex arrangement of alliances and pacts that led to WWI.
The denizens of The Imageboard That Must Not Be Named et al. have a catchphrase that goes "<Adjective> <Noun> is <Adjective>". Examples include "HUEG XBOX IS HUEG", and the Chanology's opinion on Mark Bunker: "Wise Beard Man is Wise, and his face is full of Beard".
The exact phrasing on the latter is closer to: "Wise Beard Man. His words are wise. His face is beard."
It originated with "Long Cat is LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG."
Obvious troll is obvious.
So, so much from the legendary F1 commentator Murray Walker, such as "With half the race gone, there is half the race still to go" and "It's raining and the track is wet".
'-of course, being out in front means you you have the whole track in front of you'; instantly, the car described went off the track and crashed.
There is a subdivision named The Shire of Hamlet Village.
The GCC error "'long long long' is too long". (Though strictly speaking it's really three long.)
Every object in Java has a toString() method, which converts the object to a String.note A string is a sequence of characters; usually letters, numbers, and symbols.Every object, including String itself. It's even lampshaded in the Java API.
The English word "sacrosanct" is itself an subversion of this trope. The root "sacro" comes from the Latin word "sacrum", meaning sacred, and the root "sanctus" (the past participle of the Latin word "sanctire") means holy. Three guesses on what this adjective means in English. It's usually inviolable, although "highly holy" is the original meaning.
Any street named El Camino Road
Similarly, Table Mesa and Pinnacle Peak.
East Timor (an island country in Southeast Asia). Timor is a variant of "timur" Malay for "east". Timor is the island's name. The western half of the island belongs to Indonesia. East Timor is located... in the east.
The YAL-1, a terrifying aircraft equipped with a terrifying laser of terror, is being developed by Kirkland AFB's Directed Energy Directorate. Susan J. Thornton is the Director of the Directed Energy Directorate. It's all very direct. Yet this is actually an aversion since the DED is a Directorate, an agency headed by a director, which deals with Directed Energy, such as lasers, particle beams, and occasionally sonic weapons, and Mrs. Thornton is its director.
People who say things like "4 a.m. in the morning."
French singer Johnny Halliday during an interview at the Paris-Dakar rally said a very profound thing: "If we hadn't wasted an hour and fifteen minutes, we'd be here an hour and fifteen minutes earlier".
The phrase "rate of speed", when used to mean simply "speed". "Speed" means "rate of motion", so "rate of speed" means "rate of rate of motion", which is acceleration rather than speed but which is seldom used to mean acceleration. Like "from whence" below, this does not stop people from using such phrases as "The car took off at a high rate of speed" instead of simply "a high speed".
Well, if it's taking off and gets fast quickly, clearly it does have a large acceleration.
The phrase "Whys and wherefores"—"wherefore" means why.
Similarly: "For all intents and purposes".
Duplicate words are extremely common in law. One book on legal writing said that the practice originated in the days of Old English, when two words were used — one Anglo-Saxon, and one Latin.
The River Annan is named for a word in a now extinct Celtic language meaning "water", and "the River Water" is tautological enough. However, in culture (such as in songs by Kate Rusby and The Decemberists, and the webcomic Gunnerkrigg Court), the river is usually named "the Annan Waters", which of course means "the Water Waters".
Mae West: "I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it."
Similarly, from Oscar Wilde, "I can resist anything except temptation."
Back on the 8th of May 1945, newspapers were awfully excited about how it was VE Day in Europe. Victory in Europe Day in Europe.
"Assless chaps." All chaps are assless. Otherwise they'd just be leather pants.
If anything, the phrase simply refers to when chaps are worn with nothing underneath them, which is kind of like calling a beanie not worn with a visor a "bill-less hat".
Many Fractals are literally shaped like themselves, infinitely. It's easy to find a fractal zoom video on YouTube.
The Earth used to be considered a sphere, then an ellipsoid. Now it's called a geoid, "uniquely Earth-shaped"... so the Earth is quite literally shaped like itself.
Recursive functions are defined in terms of themselves. Computer Science folk love to joke about this.
If you don't get it, see recursion.
Google jokes about it, too. Search for recursion and see for yourself.
Did you mean: recursion
If you already understand recursion, fine. If you don't, ask someone who's closer to Donald Knuth than you are.
People often refer to the NATO alliance, or, even worse, the NATO treaty. Yes, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization treaty.
The first one is acceptable, and could be considered more of a style issue or redundancy. The second one can refer to the actual document that created the Treaty Organization.
… which is called the North Atlantic Treaty.
Common parodies of conspiracy theories call NBC News et al. the "Mainstream MSM Media." Guess what MSM stands for?
This happens way too often in the computer world. Programmers are supposed to document their code's behavior, but all too often you see "widget.calculateFrob()" described as "This function calculates the frob value of the widget object."
Often these are the result of a programmer being told he has to document everything, despite the fact that he deliberately named it to be self-documenting. I mean, if you need documentation to figure out what ConvertToString() does, either you really shouldn't be programming, or the original programmer shouldn't.
It doesn't help that there are comment generators to produce exactly this type of useless comment.
Sensory Integration Disorder is sometimes called SID disorder to distinguish it from Sudden Infant Death, which is referred to as SID. This could be avoided if people used the more complete SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) - of course, they're rarely likely to be confused in context anyhow.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder also gets this treatment quite often, being referred to as OCD Disorder.
University College Dublin runs afoul of this. Their logo◊ proclaims them to be University College Dublin Dublin.
Similarly, University College in Oxford is a constituent college of the University of Oxford.
And University College London is a university (in London) which is a constituent college of the University of London.
When translating Finnish lakes and rivers into English, it's usually done by adding the word "lake" or "river" before or after the name. Thus we have "Lake Pyhäjärvi" (Lake Holy Lake) and "Kemijoki River" (Kemi river River) and countless others.
This exchange in an interview with the pop duo Tears for Fears:
Roland Orzobal: See, if I weren't married...
Curt Smith (interrupting): You'd be single.
Roland Orzobal: ....Yeah.
Tons of food with foreign origins are like this, due to no one knowing the translation for the food's name. For example:
Pizza pie (pizza coming from either piede or pitza, meaning... pie)
Not food, but the Head Chef of a restaurant... (Chef meaning Chief, the title actually being Chef de Cuisine, not Head Chief, which is like saying the Chief Chief)
Even funnier: 'chef' used to mean 'head' in Old French. So the Head Chef is the Head that is at the Head of the cuisine.
In propositional logic, a statement is a tautology if it evaluates to true for all possible Boolean inputs. The simplest form of this is "A or ¬A". In layman's terms, when there are only two options, everything is either one or the other.
Wittgenstein is a master of this even while he criticizes it. In the Investigations, he comments, "We might also say: 'Every thing fits into itself.' —Or again: 'Every thing fits into its own shape.' While saying this, one looks at a thing and imagines that there was a space left for it and that now it fits into it exactly." He goes so far as to smear a blob of ink on the page, saying, "Does this spot 'fit' into its white surrounding? —But that is just how it would look if there had at first been a hole in its place and it then fitted into the hole."
Several Bushisms fall into this, such as "More and more of our imports are coming from overseas", and "Its against the law to hire somebody illegally."
In the case of "imports" he was actually making a meaningful statement; the US is not, geographically speaking, Britain (which if you count Northern Ireland can import things from overseas within the domain of Great Britain). The States receive imports from Canada, Mexico, and Central and South America, none of which are overseas. Compare the growing industrial might of China. That's right. George W. Bush made a statement that was perfectly correct and in fact rather observant...and people called him dumb for it. That's practically Zen.
In South Africa, a certain football commentator (whose name escapes me) is known for his stupid comments during matches. At the beginning of the final match of the 2008 PSL (a South African Football League) season, for example: "What a great season this has been, 43 goals scored, and would-you-believe-it, 43 conceded", and (in reference to Cristiano Ronaldo's move to Manchester United a few years ago "[Unremembered sum of money]! For that kind of money, I'd play for free!".
A World War II era German map labeled a lake in Finnish Lapland as "Jaurijärviozero-See". The joke here is that "See" means "lake" in German, "ozero" means "lake" in Russian, "järvi" means "lake" in Finnish, and "jauri" means "lake" in Sami, the language of the indigenous peoples of that area. In other words, on the map, it's titled "Lakelakelake-lake".
Most U.S. coins list their value in cents, but the dime's value is said to be "one dime."
Pluto is now classified as a "Plutoid" and a "Plutino."
In the same vein, an Egg's shape is defined as being ovoid - that is, its shape is similar to, but not actually, an oval. Oval literally means egg-shaped. So eggs have shapes similar to, but not exactly like, eggs.
Oddly, the Darwin-inspired platitude Survival Of The Fittest (coined by Herbert Spencer rather than Charles Darwin) is an example. "Fittest" simply means "most likely to survive".
In biology, fitness is more commonly measured not by how long an individual organism lives, but by how many offspring it's able to pass its genes on to.
The common programming idiom "Trope trope = new Trope();" This roughly translates to "Create an object using the Trope constructor. We will treat it as a Trope and call it 'trope'." (The first instance is not just idiomatic but necessary in most languages (those without type inference). The second can be avoided through better variable naming, but is often required by simple-minded workplace policies.
Happens all the time in the Canadian Arctic when terrain features are officially designated by their traditional local Inuit name, but mapmakers sometimes then append the English term for the feature to the Inuktitut. Leading, inevitably, to things that come out as "Big Hill Hill", "Small Island Island", "Big Island in the Lake Island", and "Small River River".
Ever hear of UMUC? It's the University of Maryland University College, a distance-learning university...college...place.
The word "almond" is derived from the ancient Greek world amygdala, which means "almond-shaped."
And then in the brain there are almond-shaped sections involved in processing and memory recall of emotional moments called...the amygdalae (singular amygdala)
In the United States at least, companies are required to put allergy warnings on products for the most common allergens. This happens even if the allergen is the only item in the product. For example, on a can of nuts, it's still necessary to put the warning "May Contain Nuts" on it. To doubtless paraphrase many a comedian, we sure hope so.
Redundant allergy warnings are in place for a reason. They protect the manufacturers from litigation because even though it should be obvious what the main ingredient in, say, peanut butter is, some enterprising smartass who's allergic to peanuts realized they could sue peanut butter companies because the packaging contained no such warnings.
The Fumble Rule "Eschew obfuscation, espouse elucidation." is redundant (as well as breaking itself). This rule has been around for a long time and is quite old.
Some place names in Japan when subtitled in English can become this, like for instance, Kandagawa River (-(k)gawa itself meaning river), or Dogen-zaka slope (take a guess what the -zaka means).
"It tastes like itself" is justified in the cases of some foods that really don't have a flavor that can be compared to anything else. Ask someone what an avocado tastes like, and you'll probably get "It tastes like an avocado." (The rest will tell you that it's a creamy, buttery taste, since it can be used as a healthier substitute for mayonnaise on sandwiches.) Especially noticeable with bubble gum that comes in "bubble gum flavor".
In a May 2011 Issue of the Newspaper called The Metro, the subtitle of an article reads, "Larger earthquake 250km from Madrid preceded by smaller one".
Saying "Hi, it's me" over the phone.
A literal and graphic example: a flock of flamingos get together and form a ...guess what.◊
Some people hear the Japanese refer to Mt. Fuji as "Fujiyama", and decide to call it "Mt. Fujiyama". "Yama" is Japanese for "Mountain".
And here's comedian Andy Dick◊ demonstrating this trope in more ways than one.
A linguistic example is "the gostak distims the doshes," used to demonstrate how meaning can be arrived at using the syntax of a sentence. The words are nonsense, but logic goes that a gostak must be something that distims the doshes, while distimming is what the gostak does to the doshes and the doshes are what the gostak distims.
The word "lagomorph" is a classification that includes rabbits, hares and pikas. The Greek root words for this term essentially mean "hare-shaped".
If we include this then we can include possibly hundreds of scientific/literary words of greek origin such as anthropology, biology, cardiology, geology, ophthalmology, paleontology, pathology, theology, zoology, and of course homomorph, which could be translated as "shaped like itself"
In Nevada, there is a big mountain named Big Mountain.
The U.S. Army has developed the "Army Values": 7 ideals each soldier is supposed to live up to. Each ideal is embodied by a word with a specific definition. For example, Respect: Treat others as they should be treated; respect: Bear true faith and allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, the Army, your unit and other Soldiers. For the value of Honor, its definition is... to live up to the Army Values. Typical attempts to explain further tend to devolve into "Honor means to act honorably at all times."
The URL website ifpapinball.com is a subversion. While the URL expands to "International Flipper Pinball Association Pinball", a quick Google search shows that IFPA is highly ambiguous and many organizations share that acronym so the superfluous "pinball" is necessary for disambiguation.
The Milky Way Galaxy, since the word Galaxy derives from the greek galaxías kýklos, meaning "Milky Way".
A lot of those fancy swords that have lovely, exotic sounding names are often simply the word "sword" in the language from which it originates. For example, the "kilij", a curved Ottoman sword, has a name that literally translates to "a sword". This is lost on people who often call them "a (example) sword". So calling it "a kilij sword" would be literally calling it a a sword sword.
People often compare pains to swear words. "My knee hurts like a son-of-a-bitch," "My backache feels like a bastard," "my head hurts like a motherfucker." Can anyone tell me what a son-of-a-bitch, a bastard or a motherfucker hurts like? Probably hurts like itself, wouldn't you think?
The word "bed" when printed in lowercase letters in English, resembles a bed.
There's an organization known as "The National Association of Realtors." In case you're wondering what a "Realtor" is, the word's official definitionnote It's actually a trademark. is, "A member of the National Association of Realtors."
Black and Ethnic Minority. In almost all countries this phrase is used, black people are an ethnic minority. The phrase only makes any sense if black people aren't an ethnic minority in the area concerned.
In a battery, the force that causes electrons to move is known as the 'electromotive force', which means 'the force that causes electrons to move'.
Similar to the above example, the thing about onions that makes you cry is called the 'onion lacrimatory factor', which means 'the thing about onions that makes you cry'.
A 'dental fricative' letter sound is one that causes your teeth to wobble or rub together as you say it, which is pretty much exactly what the phrase 'dental fricative' means.
Much like 'PIN number' and 'ATM machine', high-class universities like Oxford have extra tests in their admissions process known as '(Subject e.g. Physics) Aptitude Test', and admissions tutors have been known to refer to the 'PAT test' without realising.
Japanese is considered to be a language isolate, because we're told it is... by the Japanese. The fact is, many linguists find convincing evidence that the Japanese language is related to Korean. There is genetic and archeological evidence also consistent with an ancient link between the Japanese and ancestors of the Koreans. In addition, outside Japan, the languages of the Ryukyu Islands are considered separate from but related to Japanese, although at times the government has called them dialects for political reasons.