Everyone from school years is familiar with the word "tautology". Too often, language teachers (and not only them) used to shame negligent students, who used expressions like oil in their writing or oral speech. So often, I remember for a lifetime. And the conviction that tautologies should be avoided at all costs was firmly entrenched.

The term "tautology"

In Russian, the term "tautology" came from antiquity. The ancient Greeks called tautologeo the situation when "they say the same thing." This is his literal translation.

Perissology was also distinguished in antipersonality — the repetition of synonyms or other words of the same meaning; and macrology - the presence of unnecessary explanations in speech. Modern science does not share these concepts and each of them calls a tautology. So what is a tautology? And is it true that she points only to gross flaws of speech? Could it be relevant in the text and not harm it?What is tautology: definition and examples

Tautology – definition and examples from a linguistic point of view

With this term, linguists denote the repetition of the same, single-root or similar words, as well as expressions. For example: “Bring back my books, my favorite books ...”. Or: "The cold cold came." Or: "It is better to remain a beggar than to burn then in the hell of shame and shame."

From the above examples it is clear that tautology is not always superfluous. And indeed it is. There are many cases that prove the validity and even the indispensability of the use of tautology.

But more often it, of course, disfigures it, makes it illiterate and ugly. “Butter, oil,” “pay the fee,” “there was a case,” and so on. Such and similar expressions sound bad enough ...

When tautology is justified

Most likely, in the old days, ordinary people in Russia did not even know, and did not know what a tautology was. But they actively used situations in their speech that can be defined by this term. Take, for example, the most popular popular “prelude”: “Soon the fairy tale is felt, but it is not done soon.” She has reached our days and is perceived quite organically.

Unlike their unenlightened ancestors, the Russian classics knew what the tautology was. But they also adored to sometimes insert into their immortal creation some kind of repetition. Pushkin, Lermontov, Gogol, Balmont, and many other literary “bison” "indulged in" this.

And it is not that geniuses all is forgiven. Without a tautology in fact, sometimes nowhere. For example, in this example, as "jam", is not desirable either one of the words to replace others. Because you need it to cook (not fry, not to bake and not to add) and this is jam (not jelly or jam). The phrase "fall down" tautology needed to enhance the meaning. But in the expression "a wolf is a Wolf" is needed to emphasize the truth of the allegations and the absurdity of any doubt in it.

Tautology in Logic

The last of the above examples of using tautology is on the border of literature and logic, which, by the way, is also actively used in this arsenal.

What is a tautology from the point of view of logic? This is identically true statement. All the same example, or others like him: "House is house", "mother is mother" "what is mine is mine" – are a good illustration.

They also sometimes use tautology to formulate logical laws. For example: “Will there be two halves of two or two?”, “Is zero zero or zero?”, “Is it raining or not?”.

From the foregoing, it can be concluded that tautology is not always a “weed”. It is also a cultural "plant". If you apply it carefully enough and correctly, and not just because of vocabulary deficit, then it can look quite organically in the text.

Interesting: