On Say It Right, we often highlight phrases made up of two words with overlapping meanings, making the expressions redundant.
Here’s another example: I recently read an article online which talked about the “fatal killing” of Ahmed Suale.
Now, while Ahmed Suale was indeed killed, it is important to note that all killings are fatal.
The word fatal means “resulting in death”, so it is safe to assume that if someone or something has been killed, that killing has indeed resulted in death. The phrase “fatal killing” is therefore redundant.
If you want to apply an adverb to describe the nature of the killing, you could say “brutal killing”, “gruesome killing” or even “sudden killing”.
There you are – another day, another way to say it right.