Home » A Message From The Department of Redundancy Department: COTD

A Message From The Department of Redundancy Department: COTD

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Repetition is an easy trap to fall into. Sometimes, when you’re putting those thoughts in your head into words on a page, you don’t even notice when you say the same thing more than once. Admittedly, repetition is something I try to watch out for, but I still slip up. I’m sure all of your favorite writers here at the Autopian have also been unnecessarily redundant. This morning, Matt Hardigree had his own oopsie with a line about the “German Deutschmark” in Cold Start.

If you translate that, you get “German German Mark.” Our readers, being the lovely pedants they are, had a field day. Martin Ibert kicked it off:

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“German Deutschmark” makes no sense. “German Mark” is enough, as “Deutsch” means German.

Buzz took it to the extreme:

Can you get German Deutschmarks from the ATM machine? Don’t forget your PIN number!

Also, be sure to provide your VIN number to your insurance company when trying to get a quote! In fairness, redundancy is so common that you’ll find it everywhere. If you do enough searching on government websites, you’ll see the same mistakes being made by the states and the NHTSA!

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Readers had a lot of heavy hitters today. This morning, Matt explained why GM’s boosted dividends and stock buyback disappointed him:

For those of you who don’t follow the stock market, a dividend is basically when a company hands out a portion of its profits to shareholders. This often happens on a quarterly basis, and it’s not intrinsically a good or a bad thing. Some companies are in a stable position and aren’t in a situation where large investments will necessarily yield more value and therefore will pass money back to investors. Many companies don’t hand out dividends because those companies see a need for more investment. Tesla is one of those companies. Tesla doesn’t pay dividends.

And then there are companies that fall into the trap of doing share buybacks and handing out dividends to constantly boost their share prices when they should really be trying to improve their companies. Pre-Banktrucpy GM was famously one of these companies, though it’s not the only example. There’s also been Washington Mutual, Barnes & Noble, Kodak and many others.

So, it was a huge disappointment to see GM announcing a $10 billion accelerated share repurchase and that the company is increasing its dividends at the end of the year by 33% to 12 cents per share. There’s a whole letter from GM CEO Mary Barra explaining how, with the UAW strike settled and a clearer understanding of profits this year, the company can hand out some money.

Mr. Asa didn’t hold back:

Matt, I think you may have figured it out.
For years I’ve disliked GM products, its like they cornered the market on blindspots and just been shoving it into every car they have. I’ve always wondered why.

Its because they have no hindsight, so they don’t need to look behind them.

Ouch! That’s a deep cut.

Finally, we thank all of you lovely people for the kind comments you wrote about Jason’s health situation. He will be taking some time off to rest, heal, and let all of those taillight thoughts fester in his head. Give him some time; Jason will be back and hopefully just as silly as he used to be!

Speaking of Torch, many years ago, the denizens of Opposite-Lock made a diecast model of his Bug and passed it around Oppos around the world.

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That little car has been to more places than many people will see in their entire lifetimes. Unfortunately, the trail is gone cold and nobody seems to know where the Torchbug went. If you have an idea, hop on over to this thread on Oppo. We’d love to figure out where it went!

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TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago

Crank Shaft started a GoFundMe to help Jason & family with out of pocket expenses. It’s near the top of page 6 of the article about his blowout.

Just the costs of staying by a loved one’s side while in hospital can mount alarmingly—much less the copayments, which mount alarmingly. I kicked in partly as a sign of love, but mostly hoping to lower the stress Jason, Sally, and Otto must be enduring. Hijacking here in hopes more people see it.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
3 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Thanks for that! Here’s the link to make it easier for folks to find: https://gofund.me/7951b9f5

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

Thank you for linking: it’s had a definite effect!

Data
Data
3 months ago

Torch’s bug reminds me of the garden gnome in the movie Amelie.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
3 months ago

I’d use German Deutschmarks to pay for a Mercury Merkur.

Kathy Barrera
Kathy Barrera
3 months ago

How many auto doodle jump writers have been profiled? 

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
3 months ago

How many car writers have been the subject of so much love from their readers?

Torch is such a mensch. We’re all rooting for him to get better soon.

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
3 months ago

I am glad to see that Mr. Asa got the COTD. I openly, and loudly, guffawed when I read that comment earlier today. I am, admittedly, a fan of GM vehicles – primarily because they make the same mistakes on their vehicles year after year, making them predictable in their issues and easier to fix (due to familiarity). The lack of hindsight must be a corporate cardinal rule!

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
3 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

One ex-wife ago, I test drove a Saturn Sky Redline when she was looking for a car.
Somehow, SOMEHOW, I had blindspots in a two seater convertible with the top down.

That atrocious Onstar mirror was the worst one. Felt like it took up half the damned windshield.

Last edited 3 months ago by Mr. Asa
TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

Well deserved COTD, Mr Asa: it was spot-on, as it were.

pizzaman09
pizzaman09
3 months ago
Reply to  Squirrelmaster

The blind spots in the 2006 Cadillac DTS my grandparents bought was the reason my grandma wanted to straight up trade back for the Oldsmobile 88 they my brother and I for our first car. The Cadillac was the replacement for the Oldsmobile and she hated it.

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