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National and Global, United States

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Let Me Repeat That: Redundant!

You have all heard the one about "A politician with an air bag in his car". That's one definition of 'redundant'. Others have to do with the business world.

One way to cut the clutter in our writing is to eliminate repetitious expressions. Because we so often see and hear redundancies (such as "free gifts" and "foreign imports"), they can be easy to overlook. Therefore, when editing our work, we should be on the lookout for needless repetition and be ready to eliminate expressions that add nothing to what has already been said.

So too, in the business world. I am confounded by the use of terminology. Redundancy in computer networking is good. It's a 'back up'. Sometimes the term is negative, as when you get 'laid off' from a job because your work has become redundant. That's a term used today to tell you that 'your services are no longer needed'.

Then there is what I call, "Bureaucractic, Organizational Redundancy". That's where in American business, you come up with all kinds of redundant titles. Sometimes they don't make sense. Such as:
Managing Director or Managing Partner -- does that mean that other directors/partners don't actually manage?
Vice-President -- What's with the "vice"? Or even worse: "Second Vice-President". Then there is "Senior Vice-President". Thus, you can be "Second Senior Vice-President" of something or other, I would surmise.

How about the word "chief". Chief anything in a title makes no sense. Chief Marketing, Chief Executive, Chief People Person? Too many chiefs, not enough Indians here. How about "Chief Chef". I've never heard that title.

So, now we see it. Needless repetition in writing as well as business titles.
Let's just call ourselves what we are. I'm a consultant. A farmer is a farmer. I don't go to a 'chief doctor' or a Vice-Lawyer. I'm not the Managing Partner, nor the Vice-President, nor the CEO. Although I could be any of those things. What I do not want to become is redundant. Let me repeat that! Oh, nevermind.

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