I’ll admit it. I’m a card-carrying member of the grammar police, the spelling police, and the style police.
“Weird Al” Yankovic released his newest album Mandatory Fun less than two months ago. He parodied a Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” with “Word Crimes.” If Weird Al’s song speaks to the innermost parts of your being, then you understand.
And, it you’re scratching your head: No worries; we can still be friends!
Below is a list of commonly used, but redundant, money expressions. The phrases either deal with money directly, or deal with issues that can cause people to spend a lot of money.
- PIN number. The acronym PIN stands for personal identification number. Saying “number” again at the end is redundant. The same would be true of the phrase “SSN number.”
- LIBOR rate. LIBOR stands for London Interbank Offered Rate which makes the extra “rate” unnecessary.
- ATM machine. One doesn’t deposit or withdraw from an automated teller machine machine.
- $12 million dollars. Writing this amount either as $12 million or as 12 million dollars gets the point across as to what unit of money we’re talking about.
- Cash money. This phrase is used in sales pitches and street-side negotiations. Nonetheless, cash is money, right?
- Free gift. Whatever is being received isn’t a gift unless it’s free. (Whether the gift should be looked upon with suspicion or not is another matter.)
- Preboard. Some passengers might board an airplane before other passengers, but none of them can get on the plane before they … get on the plane.
- Hot water heater. We’ve had to replace water heaters (at great expense), but never a hot water heater. It’s unclear whether a hot water heater is (a) a water heater that is hot, or (b) a heater that heats water that is already hot. (We might need both a water heater and a hot water heater, then — just so the hot water heater actually has some hot water to heat!)
- UPC code. The bar codes that are scanned at checkout are called universal product codes. “Code” is part of the name.
- Safe haven. These types of investments or accounts are extra-safe, apparently. A haven is already “a place of safety” so a “safe place of safety” really has a lot of safety going on, doesn’t it?
- IRA Account? This one might be redundant, or not. The IRS defines an individual retirement arrangement that gives tax-advantaged status for contributions that are governed by deposit, withdrawal, and reporting restrictions. The same abbreviation also is used to describe a particular account — an individual retirement account — which plays a part in a person’s individual retirement arrangement. If the intent of the phrase “IRA account” is to describe an account that is part of an individual retirement arrangement, then it’s not redundant.
So … beware of people who enter their PIN numbers into the ATM machine to withdraw $300 dollars in cash money from their IRA accounts to buy a new hot water heater.