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I've come across the phrase 'reviewing over' and at first I disregarded it as a hold over from grammar in a foreign language but now I've seen a native English speaker use the same phrase.

For example:

While reviewing over the documents the lawyer found many loopholes.

I have looked around a good bit on the internet but cannot find any explanation as to why this phrase would be written like this versus 'going over' or 'reviewing'. Can the great minds of stack help me feel better about this or have a good reason to discourage it?

  • My guess is that in this usage, "reviewing over" is interpreted as meaning "looking-again over". Since in the entitled dialects "reviewing" means "looking over again," you can point out that many native speakers will find "reviewing over" redundant. – outis nihil Aug 22 '14 at 18:56
  • It's just not done. – Kris Aug 23 '14 at 6:38
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The phrase "reviewing over" suffers from the same quality of overdefinition that afflicts "reverting back" and "removing away": The second word in each pair is implicit in the first word and, therefore, doesn't need to be said or written to convey the speaker's or writer's entire meaning.

Extemporaneous speech being the slapdash affair that it is, I would be loath to point out the semi-redundancy of "reviewing over" to any colleague who said it, unless I was totally at ease with that person and had complete faith in his or her openness to constructive criticism. In written English, however, the much greater opportunity that a writer has to express ideas with care and exactness imposes a higher standard; and if I encountered "reviewing over" in a document that I was vetting prior to its being released by my organization, I wouldn't hesitate to delete the over.

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