Let Us Unite—-Together, That Is
Posted by languageandgrammar on August 26, 2008
I recently heard a political consultant discuss how important it was for the Democratic Party to unite together. I must admit that I was shocked—oh, no, not at his suggestion of togetherness or his fervor in endorsing unity; rather, I was shocked at his grammar.
Is there any way to unite other than to unite together? Is it possible to unite apart? How about uniting separately? Any chance that we can unite and go our separate ways?
To unite means to put together, join, or bring together in some way. The “together” part is already built into the meaning, so there’s no need (read it’s wrong!) to add it.
Of course, if the political pundits on every news show on television have their way, this won’t necessarily apply to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Logically, we know that Clinton and Obama have to either unite or go their separate ways, and with the Democratic Convention going on this week, they will definitely unite; there’s no doubt about that. The pundits, however, are obviously hoping for the grammatically impossible uniting separately, which, of course, would make for much more interesting, yet totally irrelevant, banter.
Paul’s book–Literally, the Best Language Book Ever;
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