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I have believed that the expression “discuss about” is incorrect as dictionaries and grammar books say. But in an academic conference which I atteded today, two intelligent speakers, one of who is a Stanford professor, used “discuss about.” Has it become a common usage?

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    It is redundant to write "discuss about." The definition of "discuss" is "talk about". Even intelligent speakers, Stanford professors or not, make minor errors of this type, maybe more when speaking than in formal writing. Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 20:48
  • Thanks Michael. They may have made a minor mistake in terms of the authentic grammar. I guess they are not native speakers of English. It seems to me that some people who learn English as a foreign language , especially Asian people including me (a Japanese) , are likely to say “discuss about” and “mention about” . Such expressions sound even more natural to me than correct usage. Probably some latent feelings that stem from the first languages works there. Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 23:10
  • Intelligent articulate educated native speakers can and very often do make what seem to be 'errors' or 'mistakes', and this is not a sign of not being a native speaker. People are not language robots. Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 11:00
  • That makes sense to me. Thank you. Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 7:15
  • I certainly hope not. As Michael Harvey makes clear it is not correct. People may yet popularize the incorrect out of laziness or stupidity. I'm glad we are here to discuss about it.
    – Elliot
    Commented Apr 8 at 2:27

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Not sure what you mean by 'nowadays', as I don't believe 'discuss about' has ever been used in modern English. It is entirely incorrect.

Perhaps what you actually heard your intelligent speakers use is the noun 'discussion'? You may have "a discussion about" something. But if they really did say "discuss about", I'm sorry but that is wrong.

Unlike the verb 'talk', which simply means to say words out loud, the verb 'discuss' means to talk with others about a specific subject, so aside from being unidiomatic, it would be a redundancy anyway.

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  • Thanks Astralbee. They are surely intelligent, and I am sure they did not say “discussion” but “discuss”. About the reason why they made mistakes, I wrote a comment to Michael’s answer. Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 23:19
  • It's possible they used "discuss" as a noun (instead of "discussion"), when you'd need to follow it by a preposition such as "about". I can't see this in dictionaries so it's not really standard, but I'm sure I've heard it and I can find multiple examples of "have a discuss" online, so if it's a mistake it's a common one.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Apr 8 at 9:23

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