Overlapping

By this I mean a particular form of what the grammarians call pleonasm, or redundancy. Possible varieties are infinite, but the commonest example is writing "the reason for this is because . . . " instead of either "this is because" or "the reason for this is that . . ." as in the first of these examples.

The Ministry of Food say that the reason for the higher price of the biscuits is because the cost of chocolate has increased.

The subject of the talk tonight will be aboutů(A confusion between "the subject will be.." and "the talk will be about..".)

The reason for the long delay appears to be due to the fact that the medical certificates went astray. (A confusion between "the reason is that the certificates went astray" and "the delay is due to the fact that the certificates went astray".)

The cause of the delay is due to the shortage of materials. (A confusion between "the cause of the delay is the shortage" and "the delay is due to the shortage".)

By far the greater majority . . . (A confusion between "the great majority" and "by far the greater part".)

He did not say that all actions for libel or slander were never properly brought. (A confusion between "that all actions . . . were improperly brought" and "that actions . . . were never properly brought".)

An attempt will be made this morning to try to avert the threatened strike. (Those who were going to do this might have attempted to do it or tried to do it. But merely to attempt to try seems rather half-hearted.)

Save only in exceptional circumstances will any further development be contemplated. (A confusion between "only in exceptional circumstances will any further development be contemplated" and "save in exceptional circumstances no further development will be contemplated".)

The common fault of duplicating either the future or the past is a form of this error.

The most probable thing will be that they will be sold in a government auction.

This should be "The most probable thing is that they will be".

The Minister said he would have liked the Government of Eire to have offered us butter instead of cream.

This should be "he would have liked the Government of Eire to offer . .".

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