Tautology (rhetoric)

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In rhetoric, a tautology is the repetition of a statement, for example, "With malice toward none, with charity for all".

Unlike a tautology in logic, it is not automatically true.

Examples[change | change source]

  • The phrase "A is A", often mistakenly attributed to Aristotle, was a favorite of Ayn Rand. The idea frequently appears in her philosophy, especially as written in her novel Atlas Shrugged.
  • The phrase A is B because A is B.
  • In his book Mostly Harmless, Douglas Adams used the phrase, "Anything that happens, happens. Anything that in happening causes something else to happen, causes something else to happen. Anything that in happening happens again, happens again. Though not necessarily in that order."
  • Comedian Mitch Hedberg joked about a tautological advertisement for a boxing match: "It said, It's a fight to the finish! (pause) That's a good place to end."