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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tautology December 18, Figures of Speech

A panel of experts convened to explain
why "UP" is higher than "DOWN"
 Tautology: If paradox had a precise antonym, it might be tautology.  From the Greek tautos + logos, "to say the same thing."  In The Wizard of Oz, when the Scarecrow sings he'd like to know "why the ocean is near the shore," he's uttered a tautology.  When Calvin Coolidge opined that unemployment results when large numbers of people are out of work, it was a tautology.  This is somewhat different than a redundancy in that instead of mere repetition, a tautology professes to be a kind of logical proof.

1 comment:

  1. And here I have been for all these years thinking that "tautology" was the past tense of "teachology".