I heard a TV talk show host say recently, “I want to talk to all of you but starting first with [John Smith]“. My question is, could we start second with someone? Starting sort of implies first, right?
Language is full of redundancies like this. We simply write this one off as one of the many idiomatic phrases that haunt English, or any language for that matter. How often have you heard (or said) “Let me start first with . . . ?” “ATM machine” is another that bugs me. What do we think the “M” stands for?