The next time I see somebody use the word “pre-planning,” I’m going to have to report that person to the Department of Repetitive Redundancy for using a pleonasm.
You see, “planning” is the act or process of making a plan or plans. A plan is a mental formulation or a graphic representation that is done before the action takes place. A plan is also a scheme, program, or method worked out beforehand for the accomplishment of an objective. The concept of “before” is already included in the word, which makes the “pre–” prefix, which also means “before,” unnecessary. It’s the same situation with “advanced planning” or “future plans,” which are also pleonasms. Nix, Nix.
So what in the Sam Hill is a pleonasm, you ask? It’s two words put together that mean the same thing. Here are some examples I found on Wordfocus.com:
– burning fire
– cash money
– end result
– all together
– invited guests
– null and void
– cease and desist
– ATM machine
– HIV virus
– RAM memory
A pleonasm is the opposite of an oxymoron, which is two words put together that mean the opposite:
– awfully good
– deafening silence
– pretty ugly
These are not to be confused with Oxy morons… (don’t get me started.)
Bet You Didn’t Know….
The official plural of “oxymoron” is “oxymora”, although “oxymorons” is becoming more acceptable.
It is a good idea to avoid using pleonasms in your writing, because they are redundant.
It is also a good idea to avoid using oxymora in your writing, because they can be confusing.
When you search Google for “pre-planning” you get ads for cremation services and funerals. You either plan for your funeral, or you don’t; there is no such thing as post-planning in that industry!
Profound Quote of the Day:
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
– Alan Lakein, American businessman, author of How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life, which sold 3 million copies