[This entry originally appeared on Clare Lynch’s blog, goodcopybadcopy]
Last week I launched Tautology Tuesdays, a series of posts on the repetition of the same idea in different words. In that post I pointed out that tautology can make you sound desperate and untrustworthy – like you’re trying too hard to get your point across.
This week’s common tautology crime illustrates the point perfectly: “worldwide, global business” (or “global, worldwide business”).
Yes, we get it. You’ve got an office in more than one country and you want to sing about it. However, by over-emphasising the fact, you actually make me wonder if you’ve just opened a 6” x 6” broom cupboard in New York staffed by a lone employee.
The same instinct that leads writers to describe their business or team or service as both “global” and “worldwide” usually compels them later in the document to describe it as “truly global”.
As opposed to falsely global, presumably? Or perhaps they mean in contrast to other businesses, which are only “semi-global” or “slightly global”? (No doubt the writer’s company offers great benefits for all those employees who are “semi-pregnant”, too).
When users of a phrase such as “a truly global, worldwide business” really get into their stride, they’ll invariably be inspired to call on the even more laughable “truly global in every sense of the word” (and how many senses would that be, then?).
So remember: your business is either global or worldwide. It can’t be both.