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I hear "whole entire" used often. Shouldn't we use just one or the other in a sentence?

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“Whole entire” is a tautology. The two words are synonymous, so putting them together adds nothing to the meaning.

Therefore yes, you should only use one of them. However if you hear the phrase spoken by someone else, I wouldn’t go as far as to label it incorrect. Grammatically, it’s fine to list multiple adjectives in a row. It’s just that in this case, it adds no further meaning.

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  • I agree that it does not violate grammar, but it is not the usual speech of those who employ the language well. Tautology usually evinces the reaction "Well, yes, duh." So I am a bit stronger in advising the complete avoidance of "whole entire." Nevertheless, you are getting my upvote. – Jeff Morrow Jan 24 '19 at 13:08

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