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I realize it's usually better to just say "A and B are redundant". But, I've also seen

  • A is redundant with B
  • ... to B
  • ... of B

all with basically the same intended meaning. Are any of these more (or less) correct?

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8  
I'm not sure a preposition would be appropriate... I'd just say A and B are redundant. –  snumpy May 3 '11 at 15:06
    
Whatever your explicit question, stick with your realization. –  Mitch May 3 '11 at 21:57
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@snumpy So what you're saying is that a preposition would be… redundant? –  ghoppe Sep 15 '11 at 1:03
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@snumpy - there may be situation that A is redundant with B, but B is not redundant with A (A is a subset of B). "A and B are redundant" would be misleading here. Maybe there is a better way to express it? I am unsure whatever "A is a subset of B" would be properly understandable for average people. –  Bulwersator Mar 19 at 9:14

5 Answers 5

up vote 9 down vote accepted

The correct idiom is:

A is redundant with B.

Google hit counts confirm that "redundant with" is by far the preferred usage:

  • "redundant with" — 310,000 results
  • "redundant of" — 45,900 results

"Redundant to" actually shows more results that "redundant with", but the vast majority of those are actually "redundant" followed by an infinitive, eg. "It is redundant to specify both height and width."

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As I programmer , and not an English professor I would like to offer what I consider the logical solution.

A and B are redundant... Is the best general approach, because there are no relationships defined and because of this the statement is easily clarified. Simply put, both terms are redundant, and we do not care why, we also don't care what they are redundant to.

A is redundant with B.... In this approach I get the feeling that A and B are somehow connected in the following ways:

  1. Both A and B are redundant
  2. Both A and B possibly became redundant at the same point in time
  3. Both A and B are possibly redundant for the same reason

... to B .... Here the meaning is completely changed, here we see A becoming redundant to B. Not related to A and B are redundant.

... of B .... Again this adds more meaning to the statement. A of B. When B exists A is redundant. If B does not exist, then A is possibly relevant.

That is my 2 cents as a developer.

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For the most part, I agree with JSBangs, but...

A is redundant since B

Can be effective as well.

-EDIT- In light of recent comments.

I should have posted an example what I meant by this. After re-reading the question, I'm not quite sure if this is what the asker was looking for.

  1. 'A' is equal to 'B'.
  2. 'B' is equal to 'A'

2 is redundant since 1.

Which makes perfect sense, but isn't quite the usage that's described in the question.

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3  
I have never seen "since" used like that, whether in its traditional sense or as a synonym for "because". You'd say "because of B" not "because B"; isn't a helper also needed to make it work with "since"? –  Matthew Read May 3 '11 at 14:00
    
do you have a reference for this? –  tenfour May 3 '11 at 14:49
    
Edited. Sorry about the confusion. –  MikeVaughan May 3 '11 at 15:01
    
@Matthew Read: Because needs of when it is used with a noun phrase. Since doesn't but (at least to me) it sounds strange used this way, unless you're talking propositional logic or something. –  z7sg Ѫ May 3 '11 at 15:07
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I'm willing to accept that I may be wrong. haha After looking at it, it kind of just sounds like the computer programmer in me coming out. –  MikeVaughan May 3 '11 at 15:09

Our logical brain would like to think that the proper arrangement of words can be deduced by logic or decided by consensus. But language was not invented by logic nor negotiated by consensus. It just happened, and it happened before any of us was born. Some nod must be given to what has gone before and some nod must be given to what our contemporaries can understand and accept as sounding odd or foreign. A last consideration is the fact of which we are all at least semiconsciously aware, that some speakers are better than others.

To my ear, both prepositions sound odd, and I'm quite sure I never read or heard either in the first 50 years of my life. I believe they are new constructions arising our of some need to say something in a way that didn't feel necessary before. As a matter of fact, I have a feeling that anyone trying to write either A is redundant with B or A is redundant to B would feel satisfied that the intended meaning was expressed by A and B are redundant. The latter treats the two as coequals, but the former expressions assign a priority to the second term.

In an English-speaking world of some half a billion native speakers, I don't find 300,000 examples overwhelming. All three alternatives are neologisms and which wins out will just have to fight it out until one finally carries the day. They may eventually sort themselves regionally, as the U.K. different to and U.S. different than have done (though different from historically was considered the only correct formation).

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1  
Greetings, welcome to English.se. Thank you for your contribution. This is quite ranty. We prefer sourced answers. –  virmaior Sep 11 at 14:20

[ became redundant with ] – 68,700 Google hits

Implied: B is superior to A (or something similar).

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