We're playing a game where it's possible to use our ancestors as measurable monetary units at a pawnshop to release new family members. Today, we had a funny situation where someone stated this.

Sir Jack is my collateral and, also, my collateral.

Nerdy, as we truly are, we started to look up the definitions and, indeedely-doo, that's a factually correct statement. Sir Jack was in fact used a security for another payment (being a collateral by his value) but also happened to be a descendant of the speaker (being a collateral by blood).

While it's factually correct, I wonder if it's grammatically and/or stylistically correct as well.

If it isn't, I also wonder if it'd be more natural to substitute both instances of collateral to each own synonym or only one. And in the latter case, which one, if any, would seem more appropriate to get rid of.

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    You've indicated the answer yourself: He's your collateral by value and by blood in terms of your game. – Ronald Sole Dec 2 '18 at 16:56
  • @RonaldSole Ha, that's actually pretty clever! I missed that option - we may simply aggregate the two (as opposed to substituting). Thanks, mate, and please post that as a reply not a comment so it can be accepted. However, there's still the part of the question whether it would be grammatically correct to keep the word being repeated, though with differently intended meaning. (And of course the same for stylistic correctness, too.) – Konrad Viltersten Dec 2 '18 at 17:17
  • It's perfectly correct to write: Sir Jack is my collateral both by value and by blood. Whether this makes him doubly valuable depends on the rules of the game. Style tends to be a matter of preference. Hope that helps. – Ronald Sole Dec 2 '18 at 17:39
  • @RonaldSole Sorry for being unclear. I meant to inquire whether it's grammatically correct to say "Sir Jack is my collateral and, also, my collateral.", i.e. without the (indeed useful and great) reformulation that you suggested. – Konrad Viltersten Dec 2 '18 at 20:26
  • @KonradViltersten apparently they have to be related to you but by a different branch of the family tree -- meaning they can't be a direct ancestor to be considered "collateral". – Andrew Dec 2 '18 at 21:41

What an extremely odd rule for a game! It is unsurprising that such strange situations give rise to strange expressions.

This phrase should be treated as "wordplay".

It is certainly grammatically correct.

Its meaning is not clear, so unless engaging in word-play would not be used, even in the exceptionally narrow field of "a game in which you can use relatives as collateral in a pawnshop". I suspect that this context has never before existed as in the real world you can't do this. A relative can be a guarantor for a loan, but not cash.

Technically, a descendent is not a collateral. A collateral is a person who is related, but not a descendent nor an ancestor, but on another branch of the family tree. A collateral is a cousin. The word is very rare, except in technical discussion of inheritance.

If clarity is required there are numerous other expressions that avoid the wordplay and so increase clarity:

I'll secure this loan with Sir John, my (distant) cousin.

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