The last of these ventures into the land of redundant words, repetitions and silly syntax. If you’ve travelled with me, you should know what to do with Fowler’s Modern English Usage!
Absolutely guaranteed: Any guarantee that isn’t absolute (as it should be) isn’t worth the paper that describes it.
Advance warning: Warnings, by their nature, occur before an event; qualifying them with ‘advance’ is superfluous. A warning issued after the event is pointless.
At the present time: ‘At present’ means now. Enough said.
Merge together: If you merge things, you bring them together. You can’t merge apart.
Completely finished: Something finished is complete, that’s what ‘finished’ means. And I’m finished with this definition.
During the course of: ‘During’ means ‘throughout the duration or course of’. Let’s cut out the inessential.
Free gift: A gift is, or should be, free. Though I accept that some gifts are given more freely than others. But marketers can usually be relied upon to distort all language to their advantage.
Written down: If you’ve written it, you’ve taken it down. You no more need write it down than up, unless, of course, you’re using the expression in the accountants’ manner.
Final rant in this series. But there’ll be other series!
I’m looking at the very frequent use of ‘very’, very soon.