As we’ve been reminded by the ridicule Donald Trump has generated by his hectoring, mechanical repetition of phrases or words in his speech, redundancy makes you look both angry and empty of substance.

Scathing Online Schoolmarm would think that a school superintendent would understand this simple fact. What are you modeling for your students when you talk like Charlie Van Zant Jr., superintendent of Clay County Florida’s schools?

Under pressure for alleged plagiarism and fraud, Charlie recently told an interviewer the following:

[Liars] are trying to take me to task for my principles and values that they can’t stand… These liars are making accusations that are over a year old, that should have been reported to either the Florida Commission on Ethics or me as the superintendent of schools, as per school board policy. But these liars do not want an investigation. These liars want to play the media. These liars knew we would be out of town last weekend, and our staff would have a three-day weekend… The media is being played. They’re playing right into the hands of lying Mrs. Studdard [a school board member], the lying teachers union…

Superintendent Van Zant has certainly learned the word “liar” and some of its variants, and for that we applaud him. But SOS wonders if his efforts to paint his many enemies as, er, liars are really working here.

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One Response to “Redundancy is a serious problem – in writing and in speaking.”

  1. Greg Says:

    There’s a line between fulsome repetition and analepsis, and of course this guy’s way on the bad side. As for your, certainly tongue in cheek, rosy view of school superintendents, and presumably principals as well, I’m recalling with some amusement those whose talks I sat through, k-12, in small Midwestern towns. Was that English they were speaking? Of course it wasn’t their fault, but I don’t want to get into the fault attribution quagmire. I’ll never get out.

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