Is Redundancy OK in a Radio Script?

Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read

Is redundancy OK in a radio script

A listener named Tim wrote on Twitter that he had heard someone on NPR say that another person "often frequented” a venue, and Tim thought the phrase often frequented sounded redundant.

Technically, Tim is right. As a verb, to frequent means “to visit a place often,” so the word often is redundant. It would be more correct to say that someone frequented a location or visited a place often.

But I wouldn’t come down too hard on NPR because audio is different from text. People who are listening to the radio aren’t always paying as close attention as someone who is reading an article. Listeners are driving or they might have the radio on in their house or office as background while they’re doing other things, so it’s not unusual for people on the radio to say the same thing multiple times in different ways or to be redundant to make sure listeners get the point. Think of redundancy on the radio, such as often frequented, as being there for emphasis.

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About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.

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