Surplus to Requirements

I used the word surplus when I was writing the other day, and as soon as I saw it on my screen I thought, How have I never noticed that before?

What I’m referring to is the fact that the word is quite redundant. If you’re used to me deconstructing words, you might notice what I mean.

It’s made up of two different parts, sur and plus. Sur means over, above, or more (surface, surcharge, surveillance¬†etc.). And plus means, well, plus! Extra. Or, if you will, more. So yeah, both parts basically mean the same thing.

I could be pedantic and say that’s illogical and wasteful of precious syllables, but do you know what? I like it! It makes it yet another autological word: it embodies the concept it refers to. It’s excessive, indulgent, luxurious, in its surplus of syllables. It’s a word that really knows how to enjoy itself!

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