In written English, I often see redundant repetition of the same or similar words even in the same sentence. Here's an example I've just seen:

She was born to Patrick Mbatha, a black African doctor originally from South Africa.

And here's another one from the Uncle Scrooge story The Secret of Atlantis:

Donald, collect this debt, and I'll give you half of what you collect!

Influenced by my native Latin language, I'd prefer to write just "a black South African doctor", and would likely change the structure of the second example to, "and you'll get half of it," like the official translation of The Secret of Atlantis in my country - it says, literally, "and half of it is yours."

A friend who's a native speaker of a Slavic language agrees with me that written English is much more accepting to this than the standard forms of the other languages we know.

Do these examples really sound completely fine to native English speakers and happen more often than in other European languages, or we're being affected by confirmation bias?

  • 1
    I have the same impression as you (although, because I a native English speaker, my perspective is more like "in some non-English European languages, there is more of a stylistic norm against using the same word multiple times in a short section of text than there is in English-- which often leads to greater use of synonyms to avoid repetition"). Dec 3 '17 at 22:49
  • There is somewhat of a tradition (although it is by no means monolithic) of English style-guide writers advising against using synonyms to avoid repetition: see the Wikipedia article on "Elegant variation" Dec 3 '17 at 22:52
  • Some English speakers extensively use repetition in their spoken language, too. e.g., "No puppet. No puppet. You are the puppet. No, you are the puppet."
    – bytebuster
    Dec 4 '17 at 4:26

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