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.
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 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.