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  • Probably the most famous example of this comes from United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart, in the case of Jacobelis v. Ohio, where the court was trying to determine if an Ohio theater had broken obscenity laws by showing the Louis Malle film, The Lovers 1958. The court found it was not obscene, but nobody had a clear reason why. Justice Stewart felt the constitution protects everything except hardcore pornography, and, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that."
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  • When Tory party leadership contender Theresa May declared "Brexit means Brexit", it may have been what would secure her victory. This was just after the British public voted to leave the EU in a referendum, and the leadership election was seen as a vote on precisely what sort of "Brexit" the Government would pursue.
  • 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.note 
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  • Some people write the word that a symbol represents afterwards, e.g. "10% percent".
  • 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".
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    • Similarly, The El Alamein battle, translated from the various languages it's passed through (Arabic->Spanish->English), means "the the the two flags battle."
    • That "alligator" originally meant "the lizard" means that alligator lizards have a redundant name; contextually, since they were named after the crocodilian "alligators", their name means "lizard that looks like an alligator." Literally, however, their name means "the lizard lizard."
  • "Ramen noodles", if referring to the whole dish, and not the noodles by themselves. Noodles are a critical ingredient of Ramen, so it's kind of like saying "Marshmallow s'mores". While there is a style of noodles in China called "Lamian" (lit. "Pulled noodles") which it is believed changed in transliteration to become the Japanese "Ramen", Chinese characters are not used to write the name in Japanese (It's written as just the sound, "Raamen"), nor is Ramen considered in China or Taiwan to be a variant or offshoot of any traditional Chinese dish; it's a completely separate, Japanese dish. So while the noodles commonly used to make Ramen are usually called "Chuuka Souba" (lit. "Chinese-style noodles") in Japan, sometimes people do also call them "Raamen souba".
  • 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."
    • In Canada, people can often be heard referring to the "NDP Party" or the "Parti Quebecois 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.
    • In the first case, Plato is discussing an object's essential qualities (that is, attributes that are inherent to the object itself, rather than being a transitory concept applied to the object); beauty makes things more beautiful, but is not an essential quality of an object (otherwise, all objects would, by nature of their existence, be 'beautiful'). In the second case, it's a very common approach in philosophy to arrive at a conclusion by explaining how something can not possess certain qualities. For example, if someone sees the shadow of a human being on the horizon, he has gained 'essential knowledge' of that shadow by learning what it is not — that shadow stands on two legs, so it is not an animal, or a vegetable, or a mineral.
  • People who order "chai tea". Cause chai means... yeah. "Chai" in the "chai tea" sense is properly "masala chai", spiced tea with steamed milk and sugar. A Chai latte is thus spiced (tea/coffee) with steamed milk and sugar with steamed milk and sugar.
  • 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. Also, while the first three can (and in many cases often do) lead to death, they are all potentially survivable.
  • 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.
    • Also, the computers are set to audibly remind you to remove your ID after a few minutes of inactivity. The phrase? "Please remove your CAC from the CAC reader".
    • 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"
  • This Joke:
    Q: What's brown and sticky?
    A: A stick.
  • Abraham Lincoln said once: "People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like."
  • The legal phrase "children under eighteen," although the distinction here is that anyone under eighteen is to be treated as a child.
  • John Kerry on hiring illegal immigrants: "It's against the law to hire someone illegally."
    • Bush gave us the very similar "Those who enter the country illegally violate the law."
  • The Justice Society of Justice — offering twice the Justice of the leading competitors!
  • Ayn Rand: "Existence exists". Duh.
    • Since a lot of modern philosophy claims existence doesn't existence is sadly not as duh as it sounds.
    • And "A is A" (which can be found at a Springfield preschool named in her honor in The Simpsons episode "A Streetcar Named Marge") is quite literally the statement "shaped like itself".
  • Jon Stewart can only take so much of this from President Bush. See this legendary clip for what happens when he cracks.
    Jon: Yes, A equals A... it's what's known in math as the retarded-ive property!
  • Overheard: You know that saying about how if you teach a man to fish, he can fish?
  • "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.
  • 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.
  • "I don't know. A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof, and when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven." Thank you, Jean Chretien.
  • "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.
    • Not as dumb as it sounds. The name of the company was Federal Express, but it was changed to 'FedEx'. So, the company name is FedEx, and there is now a division of that called FedEx Express. Much like KFC is now the business name for the restaurant formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken.
  • 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.
  • From Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy's "I'm a man! I'm forty!" press conference rant: "This was brought to me by a mother. Of children."
  • The denizens of 4chan et al. in their earlier years had 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 format has been adopted enthusiastically by Cinema Sins.
    • 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.
    • "Jacques Lafitte is as close to Surer as Surer is to Lafitte."
  • There is a subdivision named The Shire of Hamlet Village.
  • The JavaScript error "'null' is null or not an object".
    • The GCC error "'long long long' is too long". (Though strictly speaking it's really three long.)
    • Python's Zero Division Error: integer division or modulo by zero.
  • Every object in Java has a toString() method, which converts the object to a String.note  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's Lady Windermere's Fan: "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".
  • DSW Shoe Warehouse = Designer Shoe Warehouse Shoe Warehouse
  • An Australian economic guru once said "The Market was 50% from its high which means it's 50% from its low" although this could go in Department of Redundancy Department
  • 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.
    recursion n.
    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.
  • A People's Democratic Republic translates from Greek and Latin as a "People's people's rule of people's affairs."
  • 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 names and culinary terms with foreign origins are like this, due to no one knowing the translation for the word. For example:
    • Pizza pie: pizza comes from either piede or pitza, meaning... pie.
    • The Head Chef of a restaurant: Chef means Chief. The full title is actually Chef de Cuisine. Head Chief is like saying the Chief Chief. Better still, the word chef itself meant “head” in Old French. So the Head Chef is the Head that is at the Head of the cuisine.
    • "Cheese quesadilla" - "quesa" means "cheese".
  • 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.
  • It is what it is.
  • 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".
    • Some artificial flavors end up like this, albeit for interesting reasons. When artificial banana flavor was developed, it closely resembled the taste of the Gros Michel banana, the most commonly-eaten variety in the developed world. Then a fungal infection wiped out the Gros Michel and it was replaced by the Cavendish. So now we have bananas that taste starchy and semi-sweet and artificial banana flavor, which tastes like ... artifical banana 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 "Fujisan", and decide to call it "Mt. Fujisan". "San" is the Sino-Japanese (on'yomi) reading for "Mountain". The main reading is "yama", which gets its own share of this: in the English commentary dub of TV show Ninja Warrior, they refer to "midoriyama" as "Mt. Midoriyama" which would mean "Mount Green 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; Loyalty: 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.
    • In a similar vein, the letters of the word "Boob," when capitalized, can be summarized as "top view, front view, side view"
  • 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  is, "A member of the National Association of Realtors."
  • Gaskets known as O-Rings.
  • Cookies n' Creme Oreos.
  • Some people state that they toast toast.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If you look up Crater Lake (Oregon) in The Other Wiki, it will tell you that it is:
    Lake Type: Crater lake
  • The Australian city of Parramatta comes from the Aboriginal word burramatta, meaning 'river's head'. The city of Parramatta serves as the namesake for the Parramatta River, which the city was settled near. Thus, the Parramatta River means "River's Head River".
  • In 2016, Taylor Swift won the first ever "Taylor Swift Award" from BMI.
  • The word for the color orange comes from the name of the fruit. So oranges are orange-colored (except when they aren't). The same goes for other colors named after things, like indigo, turquoise, cream or ash grey.
  • This line in the Terms & Conditions of the website Pottermore.com (it frequently occurs on many other websites as well, this is just an example), that you can only read with a working internet connection and browser: "3.1 You will need an internet connection and a browser to access the pages on pottermore.com". Also counts as Self-Demonstrating Article, and Narrating the Obvious.
  • The word "sahara" means "desert" Arabic. The Desert desert.
  • "Femme" is a word sometimes used (in and out of the LGBT+ comunity) to describe the more traditionally feminine party of a same-sex couple (as opposed to "butch"). It literally means "woman" in French. Discourse over that term ensues.
  • The IMDB entry for the remake of Unfaithfully Yours notes in its trivia section that it was "One of three 1984 movies that Dudley Moore starred in that were released in the year of 1984."
  • This type of thing can often occur in everyday speech, either due to a more colloquial style of speech or simply ignorance. For instance:
    • "From whence" - the word "whence" means "from which" or "from where", so "from whence" would mean "from from which" or "from from where".
    • "The reason is because" - "because" means "the reason is", so "the reason is because" means "the reason is the reason is".
    • Phrases such as "burning hot" or "freezing cold", though these can sometimes be intentional for emphasis.
    • "Free gift" - a gift, by definition, is free. If it's not free, then it's not a gift.
    • "And etc." - "etc." is short for "et cetera", Latin for "and the rest", so "and etc." would mean "and and the rest".
  • Many common expressions also do this, often deliberately for emphasis.
    • "To keep someone on the strait and narrow" - "strait" means "narrow". This is probably why it's often misspelled "straight and narrow", which is less tautologous but also doesn't mean quite the same thing.
    • "Lo and behold" - "lo" and "behold" both basically mean "look at that".
    • The phrase "spitting image" is an eggcorn for "spit and image", two words which essentially mean the same thing. Nowadays, "spitting image" has basically taken over the original phrase, to the point that many aren't even aware of the original phrase at all.
    • "Consciously aware" - "conscious" means "aware", so "consciously aware" basically means "awarely aware".
    • "Future plans" - plans, by definition, relate to the future. You don't make past plans or present plans.
    • "Safe haven" - "haven" means "safe place".
    • "Completely surrounded" - to surround something means to completely encircle it. You can't be "partially surrounded", you're either surrounded or you're not.
    • "Added bonus" - a bonus, by definition, is something added.
  • In French, the phrase for "What is it?" is "Qu'est-ce que c'est?", which literally translates as "What is it that it is?"
  • Fiat currency gets its value from a government or other authority issuing or endorsing it, as well as the agreement of the people who conduct transactions with it. More traditional currency could be said to have a value of a set quantity of gold or other commodity, but the value of something like 1 US dollar is...whatever you can buy with 1 US dollar.
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