Friday, November 21, 2014

fellow classmate/classmate: The Weekend Edition—Common Errors in English Usage Entry for Friday–Sunday, November 21–23, 2014

fellow classmate/classmate
Some redundancies are so common that few people notice them, but it’s worthwhile to be aware of them. A good example is “fellow classmate.” “Fellow” and “-mate” perform the same function. It’s better to say simply “classmate.”

The same is true of the equally redundant “fellow shipmate,” “ fellow roommate,” “fellow co-worker,” “fellow comrade,” and “fellow colleague.”

Even worse is “fellow peer.” Your fellows are your peers: same thing. The only people who should speak of fellow peers are members of the British peerage referring to others of their social class.

The Week's End Extra from the Archives: "Learning to spell with Obamacare: Are policies being canceled, or are they being cancelled?" (November 19, 2013).

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