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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Criminal Sentence 348: Redundant Besides

From a book I just finished:

"Besides the reliquaries, we had also put [a] wooden chest in the wagon."

This is repetitive because "besides" is one of those words that means "also." This problem happens with "in addition ... also" and "in addition ... and." You need just one.

So let's put the redundancy in the wagon and cart it off:

"Besides the reliquaries, we had put [a] wooden chest in the wagon."


Premasru said...

"Besides the reliquaries, we had put [a] wooden chest in the wagon."

1) Reliquary is a new word for me. What does it mean?

2) What would happen to the meaning of the sentence if I took out 'had'?

The Sentence Sleuth said...

A reliquary is a container that contains a bone or another body part from a saint or important religious person (a relic). It's usually a fancy gold item that you see in a Catholic church. I saw some when I went to Italy last year.
The sentence is one I took from a paragraph about events that happened before other events, so the "had" indicates this. For example, if I said, "I had eaten my sandwich by the time noon rolled around," I am relating two past events to each other.