pleonasm: the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea.
I’ve developed a pet peeve recently. It involves mostly sports commentators, but plenty of other people, including business managers, who are keen on adopting phrases from sports commentators. It is the use of the phrase “question mark” to denote an unknown. Such as the sentence, “The big question mark is whether Joe Pitcher will be able to make his next start.” The annoying thing to me is that it adds an extraneous word where it’s not needed. Adding mark after question simply adds another word and does nothing to add to the sentiment expressed. How is the first example any different than “The big question is whether Joe Pitcher will be able to make his next start”? Even the expression, “He is still a question mark” makes more sense, and is more meaningful as “He is still questionable.” Why use six words when four will do?
The only thing that I can think is that it sounds trendy and hip.
It’s superfluous and annoying.