Is the phrase "re-heated leftover Mahi-Mahi" considered a redundant pleonasm or a plethoric circumlocution?

1 Answer



Funny thing... I found this exact same question from Yahoo Answers in March 2008.

In any event, let's go through what it is that is being asked.

Is the phrase "re-heated leftover Mahi-Mahi" redundant pleonasm or plethoric circumlocution? My answer is - neither.

Pleonasm is the redundant use of words. For example "burning fire" is a pleonasm. As is "redundant pleonasm".

Cicumlocution is the use of more words than necessary to get a point across and is typically used to be vague or evasive. And a plethora is a giant amount. So I guess "plethoric circumlocution" means even more words than necessary or perhaps being even more vague or evasive.

I contend that our question does not contain either of these two things. It certainly isn't trying to be vague and there aren't a lot of words trying to not tell us about the Mahi-Mahi, so circumloction is out. It also does not contain a redundancy - leftover Mahi-Mahi can be re-heated, it can be cold, it can be room temperature. So pleonasm is also out.

The phrase is therefore neither pleonasm nor circumlocution. The question, however, is just a bit fishy...