Nugget of Knowledge: Tuna Fish, but not Salmon Fish!

Why do we say tuna FISH? We don't say Chicken BIRD!

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A viewer wanted to know why we say tuna fish? Why not just tuna? We don’t say salmon fish, or chicken bird!

We add extra words sometimes as a matter of style. We do say shellfish, codfish, catfish. This is called semantic pleonasm — adding a redundancy to avoid any confusion. This is also why the English language is so difficult to learn. We keep adding words in an attempt to make it impossible to confuse the meaning.

Here are some examples of phrases that have unnecessary extra words:

“Receive a Free Gift…”

“The Plumber Fixed Our Hot Water Heater”

“The Big Friendly Giant”

“Ink Pen”

“Extra Accessories”

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