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Past History – Is there another kind?

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this in the past few weeks, but on the Anderson Cooper show on CNN, one of his contributors made a comment that included the phrase “past history” while reporting on the political candidates.

Past history.

That was a bit of a surprise coming from a news show on a major news network – you know, the people who are supposed to care about such details in speech and language.

Past history.

Past history is right up there with my favorite construction sign of all time: “Open Trench”. Past history is a classic, first-ballot hall-of-fame-worthy redundant figure of speech. By the way, I know two twins who work for the Department of Redundancy Department who couldn’t have come up with a better one than this.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • El Gammy February 27, 2008, 9:11 am

    Dude! Seriously… how could you write this post without mentioning “Free Gift?” I was sure that was your all-time favorite, but… I don’t even know you anymore.

  • holySmith! February 27, 2008, 9:22 am

    I consider it an “added bonus” that you’ve commented on that and it is something that I can’t “overexaggerate” enough because if I listed all of them, there wouldn’t be much reason for my legions of loyal readers (and by legions of loyal readers I mean you) to come to the site and offer comments.

  • El Gammy February 27, 2008, 11:13 am

    Well played, but since I make up 100% of your legions of loyal readers, can I get a free gift then? Hahahahah….

    (Did you notice that? I threw in that extra period at the end of the “hahaha” ellipsis as and added bonus).

    I did have one serious question though: say an “open trench” is filled, so that it is technicall no longer “open,” so to speak. Do you call that a former trench? Or holySmith’s Vagina?

  • holySmith! February 27, 2008, 11:29 am

    If the trench is filled, then by definition, it can no longer be considered a trench, so they should just put a sign that reads “dirt” or “nothing to see here” or something.

    No comment on the vagina.

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