Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Tad Bit Redundant

Diane sent in a handful of examples of what's been irking her lately, including this post from the discussion forums on Chowhound. She writes:
I found your blog today and I absolutely love it. I'm quite surprised, however, that you don't have an entry about one of my biggest grammar peeves lately — the "tad bit" of something. I'm not sure when this started becoming so commonplace, but it seems like I'm seeing it more and more often lately. Thankfully none of these examples come from particularly academic sources. Would it be possible to remind your dear readers that tad is a noun, bit is a noun, and tad bit is freaking redundant?
She's freaking right, of course. Tad and bit mean the same thing, so you can have one or the other but you definitely do not need both together.

And while we're at it, let's clean up the punctuation. This Chowhound post is a statement but ends with a question mark, so we either need to reword to make it a question or keep the syntax but lose the question mark.

  • why are wines a tad effervescent?
  • why are wines a bit effervescent?

1 comment:

  1. I'd avoid 'tad', which is a very colloquial word. Use it rarely, not often. But redundancy is not strictly a bad thing (even if CW teachers deem it so). A term like 'little bit' is technically redundant, but it is also idiomatic, and more emphatic than either 'little' or 'bit' by itself. It also can add rhythm to narration or dialog, and enhance flow. Just don't use it too often, which can be said about any word.