❄️ Freezethawed: The Newsletter #005 - Truisms and Tautologies
I’ve been MIA for a while. From being a primary contact to a COVID positive patient to being quarantined and subsequently testing negative for COVID, to being hurled back into COVID duties in a disgusting PPE to finally now being in quarantine again, the last 6 weeks have been a whirlwind. If there is anything that this entire ordeal has taught me, rather reiterated in me is that, the only thing certain in life is uncertainty. However this week has been quite refreshing and I feel ready to tackle what is ahead (COVID overload).
During one of my long shifts in the COVID wards that went surprisingly uneventfully I came across some Truisms and Tautologies and though I have had a fair idea of the same, I would like to share some interesting insights I’ve gained over a quick read in the wards.
What is a Truism? – A truism (TROO-ism) is a bland statement. It’s something that might sound wise or meaningful on the surface, but that’s very obvious and doesn’t add any new ideas or information. Truisms are examples of cliché.
Truisms can be tough to detect because they’re subjective – in other words, where you see a truism, someone else might see a profound insight! The difference is entirely up to each reader. You know you’ve got a truism on your hands when you read a sentence and your first thought is, “Duh…”
Example: A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
People disagree about whether this is a truism. To some people, it might be helpful – it might give them the motivation to get started on their “journey.” But to others, it’s a “duh” statement that doesn’t add anything new.
What is a Tautology? – A tautology, on the other hand, is considered to be a phrase which is true by necessity or virtue of it’s logical form. It can make one sound superfluous and introduce intentional ambiguity. It can be extrapolated as an extreme version of a truism. Its technical definition is: A statement whose predicate is contained in its subject. In other words, it adds no new information.
- The colour of the sky is the colour of the sky.
- My cat is a cat.
Tautologies stick out like a sore thumb. Unlike truisms, they’re not open to interpretation – anyone reading them would have to agree that they contain no new information about the dictionary, the cat, or the rules of tautology club. Truisms are a lot like tautologies, but harder to see.
Hope you enjoyed that!
See you next week! 🙂
Something straight out of the movies?
A woman delivered a baby boy on-board an Indigo flight en route from Delhi to Bangalore last Wednesday! Click to read about it.
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