Thursday, January 5, 2012

Up, Up and Away

If the goal of the USA Today writer who came up with this caption was to get a rise out of me, mission accomplished. It's that two-word lead-in that has my temperature rising.

Doesn't the caption writer know that "rise up," in all its forms, is redundant? Something can't "rise down." The up, therefore, is not necessary. Yet, I am sad to report, it's everywhere.

We see it on TV:

ESPN ran an original series called "Rise Up" last year. The four-part series was meant to inspire. With a title like that, how could it?

We hear it on the radio:

As a child of the '80s who loves Def Leppard, I am pained to say that the group beckons us to "rise up" at the start of its hit song "Rock of Ages."

Seeing it and hearing it everywhere doesn't make it right. So, dear readers, rise against "rise up" with me, won't you? And, while we're at it, rise against other redundancies. Here are some that need to go:

  • Armed gunman
  • ATM machine
  • Exact same
  • Free gift
  • HIV virus
  • Join together
  • Pair of twins
  • Past history
  • PIN number
  • SAT test
  • 12 noon (or 12 midnight)


  1. How about MLB Baseball.

    1. That one is definitely redundant and ridiculous. Acronymic redundancies may be the most irksome. Another MLB-themed redundancy I see and hear often — and one that makes me want to cringe — is “grand slam home run.” Those last two words aren’t needed; it’s not as if there can be, say, a grand slam triple. And, of course, the most oft-heard baseball-related redundancy is as follows: Cubs loss. I kid, Chicago fans!