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#194628 - 12/06/10 06:32 AM Pleonasm
RonDavis Offline

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 21
Loc: Ontario
By the literal meaning, "free gift" is a pleonasm, but as the word is actually used, a free gift is distinct from a gift. Anywhere I have seen the phrase, the recipient had to pay for a "free gift".

#194632 - 12/06/10 07:32 AM Re: Pleonasm [Re: RonDavis]
bexter Offline

Registered: 11/17/10
Posts: 677
Loc: Middle Earth
Yes but I think that is just clever marketing on behalf of the store supplying a 'free gift' whereas the actual term gift is indeed given freely and so free gift is a pleonasm...it has just become vitiated by those out to gain ownership of your money
----The next sentence is true. The previous sentence is false----

#194637 - 12/06/10 09:16 AM Re: Pleonasm [Re: RonDavis]
zmjezhd Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/13/05
Posts: 3290
Loc: R'lyeh
a free gift is distinct from a gift.

Yes, in some societies, including ours, gifts are anything but "free". There is a complicated system of reciprocity to take heed of. Originally, there was nothing in the word gift than meant "without cost to the recipient" or "without the obligation of reciprocity", it is merely an abstract noun based on the verb "to give". It is interesting that the German cognate word Gift means poison, and the Greek word (whence our English dose) had the meaning of a quantity of beneficial drug versus a dose of poison. In the end, a gift is something given.

And, as has been pointed out occasionally on these boards, redundancy is not a bug in language, but a feature.
Ceci n'est pas un seing.

#194639 - 12/06/10 10:31 AM Re: Pleonasm [Re: RonDavis]
Waterdoctor Offline

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 3
I like that idea that we always have to pay for "free gifts".

As a child in Germany, we had a word for pleonasm: doppelt gemoppelt - which is something like "double done" - only better.

And then my older brother, who was privileged by learning ancient Greek in school, cam home one day and taught his little sisters that the better word to use was "pleonasm".

Now, many years later and books in English, I still prefer doppelt gemoppelt - and would like a colorful word like that in my new language.

Alexa Fleckenstein M., physician, author.
Alexa Fleckenstein M.D., physician, author.

#194642 - 12/06/10 11:05 AM Re: Pleonasm [Re: Waterdoctor]
LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 8540
Loc: Land of the Flat Water

----please, draw me a sheep----

#194643 - 12/06/10 11:07 AM Re: Pleonasm [Re: RonDavis]
Aramis Offline

Registered: 05/17/05
Posts: 456
Loc: SE US
"Pleonasm is often used for emphasis, as in free gift, true fact, or revert back. While such repetition is discouraged, sometimes it becomes part of the language and is used idiomatically, as in a hot water heater."

Would that be idiomatically or idiotically? A "hot water heater" should be a superheater to produce steam but invariably seems to be in some (idiot's) home whenever mentioned. [It does seem like the season for the Grinch to appear even on AWAD.]

#194645 - 12/06/10 04:18 PM Re: Pleonasm [Re: Aramis]
crash Offline

Registered: 09/29/10
Posts: 20
Super Duper, Aramis. It's freezing cold here. Gotta love that hot water heater designed by knowledgeable experts.

#194649 - 12/06/10 07:37 PM Re: Pleonasm [Re: RonDavis]
Faldage Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/01/00
Posts: 13803
Hot water heater is not really a pleonasm. There can be heaters that heat other things than water. And heaters that heat water but do not produce hot water. Heat tape, e.g., is a water heater but all it does to the water is keep it from freezing.

#194651 - 12/06/10 08:52 PM Re: Pleonasm [Re: Aramis]
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
Aramis!! I just thinking about you yesterday, and missing you! [HUG]

#194654 - 12/06/10 09:59 PM Re: Pleonasm [Re: Jackie]
LukeJavan8 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 8540
Loc: Land of the Flat Water
missing people? wasn't there someone called Pook here also
----please, draw me a sheep----

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