I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “Kooky Politics Make for Entertaining Races" by Albert R. Hunt in The New York Times (June 20, 2010).
The figure seemed odd until it was disclosed that of Mr. Ensign’s parents each gave $12,000 apiece to the four members of the aide’s family, the maximum allowed without having to file a gift tax return with the Internal Revenue Service.
Can someone clarify if the word "apiece" is unnecessary, as I think it is?
I would drop "apiece", but I'm not sure on this correction because constructions like "each ... $[X] ... apiece" occurs on many occasions on The New York Times and it frequently occurs in others newspapers. So I am wondering if it is in common usage, albeit it isn't the highest register.