Tautologous Mount Snowdon

From today’s Corrections and clarifications in The Guardian:

It is tautologous to refer to “Mount Snowdon” as we did in panel text (Snowdon strike, 30 July, page 18). The English name Snowdon is derived from the Old English snaw dun meaning “snow hill”; in Welsh the peak is Yr Wyddfa.

I didn’t know what “tautologous” meant, so I looked it up:

the saying of the same thing twice in different words, generally considered to be a fault of style (e.g., they arrived one after the other in succession).

So “Mount Snowdon” is tautologous because it’s saying, in essence, “Mount Snow Mount.”

As it happens, Olivia and I were searching for just that word earlier in the year when discussing phrases like “PIN number” and “ATM machine.”


Krista-Lee Christensen's picture
Krista-Lee Chri... on August 24, 2021 - 21:44 Permalink

I've heard its the same for Mount Katahdin. Anybody in the know would only say Kathadin.

jypsy's picture
jypsy on August 25, 2021 - 07:14 Permalink

.... NDP Party...

Ton Zijlstra 's picture
Ton Zijlstra on August 25, 2021 - 15:57 Permalink

Now mix it with some pleonasme...
.. the white snow on Mount Snowdon glittered in the radiant sun.

Oliver's picture
Oliver on September 1, 2021 - 04:28 Permalink

I only remember "tautologous" as a succinct way to say about an assertion that what it offers as justification or explanation is really just a restatement of what it presents as assertion. e.g. "US presidents are men, because it's men who get elected to the White House" (I guess coarser words would be as apt a lot of the time). I used to confuse it with "teleological," which is another word academics use to trash talk each others' explanations.