Say it again, Sam
There is another redundancy that pops up often in the print and broadcast media, in ads, on bloggers’ sites, and in literature of various other kinds. It’s the “any given” phrase.
A publisher’s website invites new authors to submit works, but issues the caveat, “We take only a very small number of authors in any given year.”
A rose is a rose is a rose
Okay, let’s try changing it to, “We take only a very small number of authors in a given year.” “Any” has been changed to “a,” and again, the meaning is exactly the same.
Why is the meaning unchanged when “given” is dropped or “any” is changed to the indefinite article “a”? Because “any” and “given” mean the same thing. As applied to “year,” each means no particular year. The publisher accepts works by only a small number of authors in whatever year one wants to cite. To use both “any” and “given” to describe “year” is redundant, unnecessary, superfluous, wordy.
Calling the kettle black
Uh-oh. Look who just waxed redundant.