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Saturday, March 08, 2014


Syllabification: tau·tol·o·gy
Pronunciation: /tôˈtäləjē 

NOUN (plural tautologies)

  • 1The saying of the same thing twice in different words, generally considered to be a fault of style (e.g., they arrived one after the other in succession).
    • It is conceivable that the key to truth lies in tautology and redundancy.
    • Redundancy and tautology are undesirable, and a sign of less than careful writing.
    • But really, spinning out some kind of clever model to illustrate that idea is unnecessary tautology: I can say it in just a few simple words.
  • 1.1A phrase or expression in which the same thing is said twice in different words.
    • But then, Coward himself was less refined than he thought: ‘The general consensus of opinion,’ he has Hugo say, two tautologies in a mere five words.
    • I'm not saying he is a sloppy reviewer, because the phrase ‘sloppy reviewer’ is a tautology when it comes to the press.
    • Incidentally, white jasmine is a tautology in the Indian context.
  • 1.2Logic A statement that is true by necessity or by virtue of its logical form.
    • The past, in effect, is a tautology; it is true by virtue of its logical form alone.
    • It doesn't affect the validity of the statement, so you can include it without destroying your tautology.
    • Some authors treated the quantity theory as a matter of causal relation and explanation, often differing as to the content and direction of explanation, whereas others saw it as a truism, identity or tautology.

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