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Strictly Speaking

Unnecessary Redundancy


The verb to obviate means to eliminate the necessity of, followed by an object. And so the usage “obviate the necessity of” is redundant. More eloquent, compressed and exact is, “The watering moat obviated a fence; the cattle had no interest in drowning to reach greener pastures.”
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Gift and Graft

GIFT (vs. graft)

By definition all gifts are free. If they are not free – if there is an obligation encumbered by acceptance of a present – it is not a gift. All the TV ads offering to throw in a Free Gift evidently misunderstand the word’s definition. Free Extra or Free Bonus would be fine, but Free Gift is tautological. Have you ever received a gift where the giver wanted something in return? Among lobbyists and Federal prosecutors this is known as graft.  Read More 
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