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I read from The Free Thesaurus that "moreover", "further", "furthermore", "besides", "additionally", as well as "also" are synonyms. So is using one of those words along with an "also" in a style exemplified as follows a redundancy?

My hometown is a deplorable place for it is so urbanized a concrete jungle that even access to a tiny piece of the natural scene therein is desperate, and moreover, the cost of living therein is also so exorbitant that one usually has to have a very highly paid job to reach decent material condition.

Should either "moreover" or "also" be removed?

On the other hand, I see, in Oxford Dictionaries, an example:

The university itself, moreover, is also unable to launch a serious defence of the proposed centre.

Therein "moreover" and "also" are used together.

Therefore I wonder whether it is proper to use one of the enumerated words together with "also".

  • Your quoted sentence, to me, is unclear. The section, 'it is so urbanised a concrete jungle that even...', seems like a fragment was inserted in the sentence. Similarly, I think there is a missing article before 'decent material condition'. – ifly6 May 9 '18 at 17:50
  • @ifly6 I know that quote misses some pretexts, but as you can check from that link, all examples in that dictionary are that way, so you can only interpret them based on your imagination. Then, I don't know what you mean by "a fragment was inserted in the sentence"; I just use that section to elaborate why my hometown is a deplorable place. I actually just make a plain example, which is, nevertheless, real, of a style I often wish to use in my real writing, which is in scientific contexts. – Captain Bohemian May 9 '18 at 18:57
  • @ifly6 I am not sure if an article should be placed prior to "condition" here. Before I posted, I had checked thefreedictionary.com/condition, wherein some examples use articles while some don't. If you can clearly tell me whether an article should be used in various kinds of situations, it's much appreciated. – Captain Bohemian May 9 '18 at 19:04
  • Yes that would be redundant, whihc would be why you couldn't find any examples… and what happened when you tried, please? "The university itself, moreover, is also unable…" is rather sloppy but if was perfect, it would still be nothing like saying "also moreover". – Robbie Goodwin May 22 '18 at 22:00
  • @RobbieGoodwin The example I want is in a research paper, after several arguments are given, and finally you want to add something to supplement or emphasize the previous arguments. I haven't paid attention to this point in research papers, but next time if I find this structure, I will pay attention to it. As for the second example, in the comment following the answer to my question, Jason Bassford has given an example of the pretext wherein "...moreover ... also ..." isn't a redundancy. – Captain Bohemian May 23 '18 at 4:34
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I cannot hit every aspect the OP raises but I will address "moreover" and "also" in the first segment he gives.

My hometown is a deplorable place for it is so urbanized a concrete jungle that even access to a tiny piece of the natural scene therein is desperate, and moreover, the cost of living therein is also so exorbitant that one usually has to have a very highly paid job to reach decent material condition.

To simplify that

My hometown is ugly for x, y, and z reasons, moreover, the cost is (also) more than most can afford.

"Moreover" could be replaced with 'and' or 'and also' if you wanted.

My hometown is ugly in this complex way, and (also) has high rent.

But the problem with 'also' (where you have it) is NOT redundancy !

The issue is your are signaling a second attribute to "cost" that is not there.

This would work:

My hometown is ugly for complex reasons, moreover, the cost is hard to afford and also a bad value relative to other states.

So - not redundancy, but a comparative word placed where there is nothing it is being compared to.


As for the Oxford Living Dictionaries

The university itself, moreover, is also unable to launch a serious defence of the proposed centre.

@Jason_Bassford 's comment to another answer gives one way the sentence could work.

The residents are unable to launch a serious defence of the proposed educational centre. The university itself, moreover, is also unable to launch a serious defence of the proposed centre.

I would admit that the word "itself" and/or an omission of and object or party that the defense is being launched at boxes the "is also" into a mirror response.

Without 'itself' the university might be unable to do a few things in prior sentences.

If there were an object like "neighbors" then you could have Chemistry department is unable to convince it's faculty. Moreover, the University has been unable to launch at defense for the center in the planning council meetings.

  • In the part of your answer regarding my first example, should "and" be put prior to "moreover" as a conjunction? – Captain Bohemian Oct 29 '18 at 11:19
  • I'm kind of a ways out mentally on this question and - don't want to sound too strident on grammar rules without confirmation of others. I hope what I said helped. As for "and" whether or not that is strictly correct or not I think it is either Redundant OR will Sound Redundant to a large part of an audience. We can't lose track of the idea we write to ~communicate~ and if you lose part of your audience, it's kind of a moot point what is right. In that spirit, I would suggest considering dropping "moreover" entirely - it is a bit stuffy or dated IMO. – Tom22 Nov 5 '18 at 22:40
  • I think that "also importantly" might be a more modern choice for you that hits my concern (whether it came through the way I said it or not) that moreover should accentuate the ramification of the prior issue rather than opening a new one. "on top of that" , "if that wasn't enough", 'not only', "surprisingly, despite those defects" just brainstorming for you. – Tom22 Nov 5 '18 at 22:44
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Also can be used in two ways: First, it can be used as a synonym of moreover and other words that mean “in addition,” as in, “Also, here is some more information.” Second, also can be used as a synonym of too or likewise, as in, “I also do not like summer.” Generally, the first usage will be in an introductory form; that is, at the beginning of a sentence or clause.

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About synonyms

First of all, note that "synonym" can have two meanings. Paraphrasing a dictionary definition, it can be either a word that's exactly the same or almost the same. This fact is sometimes ignored.

You asked the question:

Should either "moreover" or "also" be removed?

with regard to the following examples:

(simplified)
My town is bad because X and Y, and moreover, the cost of living therein is also so exorbitant that...

and

The university itself, moreover, is also unable to launch a serious defence of the proposed centre.

and

"Furthermore, besides food intake, other factors can also affect stool size."

The definitions of "moreover" and "furthermore" tell us that they refer back to a previous thing said:

moreover
in addition to what has already been said; furthermore
Collins Dictionary

In the third example the sentence begins with "furthermore", so we have no idea of what has already been said. We can assume that it's a statement about food intake being a factor, but we don't exactly have this information.

However, "also" can be seen technically as a redundancy because you can remove it without changing it's meaning:

Furthermore, besides food intake, other factors can also affect stool size.

In the second example the only words before "moreover" are "The university itself", whose meaning is hard to identify exactly, probably because it isn't a complete sentence. Even if we replace "moreover" with "in addition", which is given as a synonym of "moreover", we need to know "in addition" to what? The "what" can't be "The university itself", because it's describing the "university itself" in some way in addition to something else, presumably said beforehand. So I'd say in the second and third examples we just don't have enough information with regard to "Furthermore" and "moreover".

In the case of your first example, we have more relevant information but suffers from a slight ambiguity in exact meaning. We have something basically like:

My town is bad because X and Y, and moreover (in addition to that previously said), the cost of living therein is also so exorbitant that...

To be accurate, we don't know whether the word "moreover" (in addition to) refers to the town being said to be bad, or "X and Y" (the reasons why the town is bad). I believe before we make a judgement as to what is or isn't redundant we should know exactly what the heck the sentence is saying, and it's not entirely clear in all of the example sentences.

Instead I'll focus on a simplified example based on the university example:

The university's partners are unable to fund it. The university itself, moreover, is also unable to fund it.

In this example you can make a case that "moreover" and "also" are mutually redundant. That is, you can remove "also" or "moreover" without having a change of meaning.

Now let's take another version:

The university's partners are unable to fund it. There are many obstacles preventing progress and this is one of them. Moreover, the university itself is also unable to fund it.

Here one interpretation is that the "Moreover" means "in addition to the one obstacle preventing progress" and the "also" is including the university proper among the list of entities that are unable to fund it. They can refer to different things, and I would argue are not redundant with respect to each other necessarily. Of course you could argue "also" is redundant on a very pedantic basis, because:

John is sick. Mary is sick. All the rest are sick.
is equal to
John is sick. Mary is [also] sick. All the rest are sick.
(also is not strictly needed)

Unless you REALLY wanted to get pedantic and say that by the time you read "Mary is sick" John has recuperated and is no longer sick. Haha.

So my opinion is that although in all your examples some redundant words seem to be used, it appears there isn't enough information or context, at least with two of your examples, to make this a certain evaluation.

Should you avoid so-called redundancies or tautologies at all costs?

I would argue there's a place for genuine redundancies, and that it's a stylistic choice. I would definitely use "and also" when just "and" would suffice. Here are examples of redundancies and what many consider to be redundancies:
In law
aid and abet (mean the same thing, exists for traditional reasons).

In idiomatic language
I fell / I fell down (would you fall up? OK this is a phrasal verb, but still, is it necessary?)
Above and beyond
free gift
tuna fish
safe haven
More contentious ones (in my opinion):
(close) proximity
(final) outcome

In oratory:
* we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow, this ground.
(consecrate and hallow I'd argue are extremely close to being the same thing.)
* I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. (Were these not metaphors, then they'd be different things. However being metaphors for sacrifice (or similar), then they all seem to mean the same thing in my opinion.

In literature and poetry
Only this and nothing more.

Syntactic redundancies (or at least strictly unnecessary word addition):
I entered (into) the room
I know (that) it's true

(Some of the above examples are taken from the pleonasm Wikipedia article).

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"Also" is redundant, which you can tell from the fact that its removal has no impact on the meaning of the sentence. Also, "so exorbitant" is redundant. You need "so" for the "so X that" construction, so replace the absolute "exorbitant" with the neutral "expensive".

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    No, that's not necessarily correct. It depends on the context. Consider a possible prior sentence to the second example: The residents are unable to launch a serious defence of the proposed educational centre. The university itself, moreover, is also unable to launch a serious defence of the proposed centre. The meaning here is that not only can the residents not support it, but the university (tasked with education specifically) cannot. The use of also is a necessary linkage—and the meaning would change with its absence. – Jason Bassford May 9 '18 at 19:38
  • Was your answer with respect to only the first example sentence? Or an answer to all uses? – Jason Bassford May 9 '18 at 19:45
  • In the "so ... that" construction, must the adjective following "so" a comparable one? And is "exorbitant" an absolute adjective? If that's the case, I didn't know these, so thank you for telling me these. – Captain Bohemian May 9 '18 at 19:53
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    @JasonBassford You envisage a pretext I didn't think of. After reading this answer, I originally thought, based on the pretext I could imagine for the second example, removing either "moreover" or "also' doesn't affect the meaning of that sentence, either. But after reading your conceived pretext, I have to second-think. Probably whether "moreover" or "also" can be removed may really depend on the context. The example I make on my own is also just an illustration of a style which I often wish to use. I don't only want an answer to that example but an answer to general examples of that style. – Captain Bohemian May 9 '18 at 20:23
  • @JasonBassford Excuse me, may I clarify a point with you? While I appreciate your addressing a possibility wherein using "moreover" and "also" together is not a redundancy, I don't quite agree that removing "also" would change the meaning of the sentence. I think all these words "moreover/..." and "also" are for emphasis rather than adding concrete meaning, and the reason that both "moreover" and "also" in the 2nd example are better not to be removed is that they refer to different things, whereas in my 1st example, either "moreover" or "also" can be removed for they refer to the same thing. – Captain Bohemian May 12 '18 at 18:38

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