July 6, 2010 by Jen
I love words. So just for a moment, I want to exercise my geekiness rights and point out something fascinating.
Reading an article for my NZ research today, I stumbled across a new word I didn’t know: pleonasm.
It refers to an excess of words used to express a sentiment, sometimes as a rhetorical device, other times evidence of prolixity (tee hee).
At first I thought I was confusing it with another word I did know: neoplasm.
Neoplasm is another word for a tumor, an excess of cells, sometimes benign, sometimes malignant.
Both words are of Greek origin, but not the same Greek origin, pleonasm stemming from pleon (more/enough, from ple-, a similar prefix to poly-), and neoplasm from neo (new) + plasma (formation).
My observation of these two words is completely irrelevant both to what I was reading and to any other functions in my life; however, it is exceptionally fascinating. N’est-ce-pas?
Only…now it’s really bothering me that I don’t know a term for the relationship between those two words. It’s not homophone…what is it???
You are failing me, Google. You are failing me.