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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