The Tautology of Betsy DeVos – Or, Why I Don’t Want Her Teaching or Instructing An English Class

Forget the agony.

Forget the use of the wrong word to describe something that is not even a proper noun!

Forget the wrong preposition!

Forget the incorrect capitalization (if you are a journalist)!

But oh, the tautology! That is the dagger.

What the hell is “tautology?”

Alrighty then, just google it.

Noun: 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 ).

“Tautology.” A word that my students forget but come across examples of all of the time.

That’s what really burns my ass in this instance. Or should I say, that really burns and sets fire to my ass.

Several people have sent this to me today and I do find it hilarious, especially since it is so steeped with irony that it drips like Velveeta. Sorry, drips like Velveeta and processed cheese product melted in a microwave.


I understand that the written word and the spoken word are two different languages, but if you are someone who is looking to be the secretary of education, then you might want to obey the conventions of the English language and the rules of grammar in a more careful manner.

Oh crap! I just did it myself.

And yes, the “p” in President should not be capitalized unless it is in front of an actual person’s name according to some style manuals, especially the Chicago Style. But some style manuals may say that it is already a specific person, so it should be capitalized. Maybe put the red pen up for that one, but the other stuff is just wet sand in the underwear of grammar police and those who hold language rules near and close to the heart.


If there is a lesson and moral to be learned and studied here, then it is that people in highly visible and observable positions and stations in society and humanity should pay close attention and consideration to how they may “come across” and allow others to see and view them.

I know.

I’ve caught it myself and contracted it.

Stop reading this post, because tautology, pleonasm, repetition, reiteration, redundancy, superfluity, and duplication of words and phrases is highly contagious.

And infectious.

4 thoughts on “The Tautology of Betsy DeVos – Or, Why I Don’t Want Her Teaching or Instructing An English Class

  1. With all those duplicate and redundant words you must have a well-worn thesaurus as well as a book filled with synonyms…

    Well done!


  2. DeVos’s clanking grammar is the least of our worries. Despite the fact that she smiles very like my Mom used to, she’s a loaded .44 Magnum, muzzle resting lightly on public education’s frontal lobe.


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