Schooled #1 | Faux Pas – Redundant words in Everyday Phrases

I have this impulsive need to correct everyone’s spoken grammar, and my relatives and friends have had the opportunity to get annoyed by this for years now. With social media, this need has only amplified.

There’s an old joke that goes something like:

I liked him a lot until he opened his mouth.

But I’d like to change it to:

I liked him a lot until I read how he typed.

With the advent of social media and people’s access to platforms that allow them to express their thoughts, there’s a lot of written expression floating around for over a decade now and with that, you can see a truth that’s shocking: People aren’t as smart as they sound.

Homophonic errors aside, there are many, many errors people make that are careless at the very least, and sometimes, even an attempt at sounding cool.

And while I get that not everyone on social media is proficient in English and did not study it as their main language, this is not about those people. Their mistakes are from not knowing. It is about the private/convent school educated pseudo elitist class that puts on an accent when they speak but probably won’t be able to beat a ten-year-old at basic grammar and spelling.

If I had it my way, I would love to leave a comment with elaborate edits and suggestions on such posts, but I control myself. Not for the fear of being disliked (a lot of people don’t like me already, so I’m used to it 🤣) but for the fear of hurting other people’s feelings because my close friends and family do this too. And I’m sure that I make mistakes too, though I try to avoid these basic ones.

So without being sarcastic (okay, maybe a little) or sounding arrogant (erm… I’ll try my best to not) or like a know-it-all (ah, this is easy, because I don’t know it all), let me share with you some common mistakes that people make.

Obviously, I cannot cover everything in one post so this will be done in parts (Yay! More content! 😋😆)

For this edition, I’m going to cover Phrases where the second word is redundant. I’m sure there are more than the two I’ve listed below, but let’s just talk about these two this time.

Of course, feel free to let me know if I am making mistakes. I am not above criticism.
Unless you spot a spelling mistake. My blog posts go through multiple rounds of editing and proofreading, so if there is a spelling mistake, it’s most likely that it is an oversight.


Discuss About

I recently read this somewhere, I think in a caption on Instagram and while it’s not the most horrible mistake, it is one. The verb ‘to discuss’ means ‘to talk about,’ so when someone says, “We were discussing about education in India,” it also means, “We were talking about about education in India,” and you can see how weird that is.

Such errors are akin to foreigners calling it Chai Tea. Chai is Tea. So when someone says Chai Tea, they’re basically saying Chai Chai (or Tea  Tea) which is… silly, to put it mildly.

However, the word ‘about’ will fit in a sentence correctly when the sentence is, “What is the discussion (noun) about?” because discussion also means conversation. But if you replace the noun with the verb and say, “What are you discussing about?” then the ‘about’ is redundant.

Discussing = talking about.

Here are two sources (more credible than I) to help you understand this better: Source 1, Source 2


Return Back

On the same lines as the above argument, the ‘back’ in ‘return back’ is redundant because “to return” means:

  1. to come back: I returned from my vacation. Alternative: I came back from my vacation.


  1. to give back: I returned his DVD. Alternative: I gave his DVD back. 

The same logic applies to ‘reply back’ as well.

So the next time you want to talk about something, just discuss it and when you want to give something back, just return it. 😋

Schooled #2 coming in a fortnight (or so. 😆)

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