Sunday, 31 March 2013

Battology

The Daily Mail
Proudly battologizing since 1896

BATTOLOGY

Noun. L16.
[mod. Latin battologia from Greek, from battos stammerer]

A needless and tiresome repetition in speaking or writing.

Battology is a needless and tiresome repetition in speaking or writing. It should be avoided in speaking and writing as it is tiresome and needless. Doing so is called battologizing, which means to repeat a word or phrase needlessly. This is exceptionally tiresome and best avoided as it's needless.

12 comments:

  1. Good to know that, because I want to avoid needless and tiresome repetitions, because who wants to repeat what he says/writes in a needless and tiresome fashion?

    I'm lame enough to have read half of the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy. And let me tell you, EL James is the master of battologizing. I still can't believe how much money battologizing can make you. The sad part is the majority of the readers don't see how badly written these books are.

    Have a great Sunday!

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    1. 50 Shades of Grey? I am gravely disappointed with you, Evi. :P

      Happy Easter! Also to you and your family, Eddie!

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    2. How would I be able to have an opinion if I hadn't read it?
      And as for your comment below, yes, we went through the same thing in our writing class. I had even bought a paperback edition of Roget's Thesaurus. How old am I again? :)
      I forgot it's Easter today! I hope you had a good time Ed and Bibi. :) (ours is in a month or so)

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    3. True, true... maybe I should read the series too. Maybe.

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    4. Hmm. I think I've judged 50 Shades without ever reading it. Isn't it OK to do that? In some cases? Surely 50 Shades would qualify for that : o )

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  2. I wonder if there's a specific reason why you chose to publish exactly that snippet of the Daily Mail.

    The first lesson they taught us in uni was: "don't repeat yourself". We weren't allowed to use the same term for more than once in an entire paragraph. It was hard! Especially as a first year student, you don't have the same vocabulary as a more experienced scholar, you don't know which words are suited to describe the same thing! Because synonyms sometimes aren't really synonyms, they can have different meanings, or give the text a different tone.
    But I do appreciate our assistant professor taking the time to point out the common "mistakes" in writing essays. Sure helped me a lot.



    It also made it so your post gave me the shivers :P

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    1. I chose the Daily Mail because they have a tendency to battologize with the same tired ideas, anger, stereotypes and, indeed, words. As for why I chose that particular headline, have a look at Multiple Stupidness which is my other blog.

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    2. Speaking of which, you should update that one. (I read it. Of course I did.)

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    3. Yes, I should. I have some articles planned for that, so watch out : o )

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  3. I found myself reflecting the other day that I may have been overly cautious in this regard. I expend so much effort in avoiding repetition that some of my writing may come off a little stilted. It's ok to use the same word twice on a page sometimes.

    This also puts me in mind of a fellow I used to know. He would constantly tell the same falsehoods, over and over. Even when caught in one of them, he wouldn't abandon it. I see now that he must have been a battological liar.

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  4. I think the key part of battology is that the repetition is 'needless and tiresome'. Repetition is often used for emphasis or style; it's all about doing the repetition well.

    (I've said 'repetition' three ... now four! ... times in this comment - so I guess I'm guilty of battology now)

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  5. Now this one is one I've actually heard of. lol Nice!

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