2 of 2
2
Giving birth
Posted: 26 April 2018 04:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6570
Joined  2007-01-03

I would argue that free gift isn’t redundant, at least not in the context of advertising, which is almost the only place you’ll see the phrase.

It’s not redundant because merchants have found that adding the word free increases the number of people who respond to the ad. Advertising is a medium that people don’t pay attention to; their brains relegating it to the background noise of daily life. The word free stands out, causing people to pay attention to the ad. That’s why it’s there. It does have content that the mere gift does not.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 April 2018 04:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1244
Joined  2007-03-01

only free gift comes even close to bothering me but then it’s almost never found outside of advertising and generally is only used in reference to something that is technically not free, since certain other things must happen for one to receive it.

Or, as my father would more succinctly put it, a free gift is the kind you have to pay for.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 26 April 2018 07:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  847
Joined  2013-10-14

Or, as my father would more succinctly put it, a free gift is the kind you have to pay for.

Precisely, because one is usually offered a “free gift” as an allure to purchase a product being advertised .

[ Edited: 26 April 2018 07:11 AM by Logophile ]
Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 April 2018 12:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1623
Joined  2007-01-29

Dave:

in edited, expository prose, you (usually) want to be concise

I like concision in the written word but I also agree with languagehat: redundancy and lack of concision is part of the vernacular and “baby boy” doesn’t annoy me one bit because I think “baby” implies softness, sweetness, or whatever qualities you like to ascribe to young life. You could take the analysis to the other extreme and argue that “gave birth to a boy” actually does imply she gave birth to a male child of indeterminate age so needs the qualifying “baby”.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 28 April 2018 04:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  6570
Joined  2007-01-03
ElizaD - 28 April 2018 12:09 AM

Dave:

in edited, expository prose, you (usually) want to be concise

I like concision in the written word but I also agree with languagehat: redundancy and lack of concision is part of the vernacular and “baby boy” doesn’t annoy me one bit because I think “baby” implies softness, sweetness, or whatever qualities you like to ascribe to young life. You could take the analysis to the other extreme and argue that “gave birth to a boy” actually does imply she gave birth to a male child of indeterminate age so needs the qualifying “baby”.

I also said the following:

The problem with the omit needless words dictum is not the principle, but that thoughtless writers and editors apply it too stringently and without regard to context. They trim away words that really are necessary or that may not be strictly necessary to get the message across but add character and flavor to the prose.

In this case, it is a news report, where one would expect concision and an objective relating of facts without embellishment. In other contexts, a familial birth announcement or fiction for example, you can add the alliteration or qualities of youth as you wish. I also said: “it’s very far from the worst thing you could write.” I wasn’t saying I would object to baby boy, just identifying it as unnecessarily redundant.

But I would strongly disagree with any analysis that said using an unmarked boy in give birth to a boy implies an indeterminate age. Giving birth is the marker that indicates infancy.

Profile
 
 
   
2 of 2
2
 
‹‹ "No" as in "No Smoking"      Come versus go ››