Redundancy Redux

Remanded back
I heard this on the CBC, and I’m hoping it hasn’t made its way into criminal lawyers’ writing: The suspect was remanded back into custody.

The re­- prefix means ‘back’, so it is just remanded (and usually in custody, sometimes to, but not into).

Similarly, not refer back – just refer.

Ditto revert etc.

The reason why
Lord Tennyson may be to blame for this one (or C.V. Wedgwood): ‘Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do or to die’ (The Charge of the Light Brigade).

It’s a pretty awful poem, but it’s worse to say The reason why the defendant did this is…; it’s just The reason the defendant did this is…

And please, never the reason is because or, worse, the reason why is because (the latter something also heard on the CBC).

The reason is that … can work, however.

Still remain
If something remains, it’s still there – so still is a tautology.

Which is to say, unnecessary.

Neil Guthrie (@guthrieneil)

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