While some of you may assume that Ridiculous Nonsense could be the title of just about every post I write, I have chosen it for this one because of a fun little book I just read. It's called Armed Gunmen, True Facts, and other Ridiculous Nonsense: A Compiled Compendium of Repetitive Redundancies.
If you're not catching on based on the title, the book takes a light-hearted look at tautologies. Since I tend not to use very many fancy words around here, here's the definition from dictionary.com:
~needless repetition of an idea, especially in words other than those of the immediate context, without imparting additional force or clearness, as in “widow woman.”
But rather merely list tautologies and help us correct our use of the English language, Richard Kallan has gone the next step and given new definitions for these tautologies. For example:
- Serious Crisis: Not to be confused with all those whimsical crises.
- Today's Soup du Jour: Fresher than yesterdays soup du jour.
- Raining Outside: Less surprising than when it rains inside.
- Holy Bible: One with religious overtones
I have to admit that last one got me thinking about, unfortunately, how Christians often live a tautology. We say one thing and do another. We criticize one thing while turning a blind eye to another. We too often become the fulfillment of a ridiculous tautology; Hypocritical Christians.
It's the truth that shouldn't be.