There are many phrases we write or say that are redundant–one or more of the words in the phrase are unnecessary. I will explain why not to use some of the most common phrases, but you can see a much more detailed list at ThoughtCo.

Nth Year Anniversary

Where n represents any number, writing “nth year anniversary” is a redundant phrase. “Nth year” means an event has been happening for n number of years. Furthermore, “anniversary” refers to something that happens every year. Therefore, the phrase “nth year anniversary” literally translates as “nth yearly event every year.” If you want to specify that something happens every year, there are numerous ways to say it. You could say, “5th-year gala” or “60th-year celebration.” It is better, though, to say, “10th anniversary.”

There are experts who would advise against saying “nth annual celebration.” However, I would overlook this for several reasons. First, many people want to specify it is is an annual celebration so people know how long the event has happened. When attendees know the event has been happening long enough that it is probably pretty popular, they are more likely to attend. Second, there is an increasing number of people who use the erroneous “month anniversary” (just thinking of that phrase is akin to nails on a chalkboard) to indicate something celebrated monthly. Writers and speakers who understand this trend may feel an even stronger need to specify an event is yearly, and not leave it to chance that the reader or listener will think it is a monthly event.

So, while I will overlook “annual celebration,” I will never accept “year anniversary” as correct.


Corrupt Crimes

I don’t know if this article will ever reach those in charge of this show and its title, but it’s worth the try. Corrupt Crimes is a docuseries on crimes of a particularly heinous nature. The show’s title is redundant because it would be assumed that all crimes are, by the very nature of their definition, corrupt and that they are committed by corrupt individuals. You could rename this show with any number of adjectives: Callous CrimesCalculated CrimesEvil Crimes, etc. The point is that there are countless ways to describe the evil nature of the crimes covered on the show that would be less redundant. But, then, the show is British, which might mean there is a difference in the way they use the word “corrupt.”

Each and Every

“Each and every” is a phrase which is self-explanatory when it comes to discussing redundancy. They literally mean the exact same thing. Each is an indication of all of the individual parts of the whole. Every is an indication of all of the parts as a whole. The two words combined into one phrase is done for emphasis. For instance, “I told off each and every one of them,” means that you gave them a message clearly for each of them, but that also applied too all of them as a group. Regardless of how appropriate the phrase seems, opt instead for simply saying “every one” or “all.” “All” doesn’t have quite the same oomph as “each and every,” but “every one” and “ever single one” do.

A lot of writing, such as dialect in fiction and quotes in non-fiction, does not require avoiding every possibly redundant phrase. But, in business–particularly in marketing of goods, services, or events–redundancy should always be avoided if you want your writing and advertising to sound professional and have more impact on the readers.