Three small stories that my mother & I found interesting and amusing from The Times Saturday February 21st 2009 - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/ - two letters ...
Full Marks All Round by Ann Stevenson from Stafford: "Sir, My 14-year-old grandson mentioned Facebook to me, and I mentioned Twitter to him. He looked impressed. I said that being a Times reader keeps me up to date and I hoped he would be a reader one day. He replied: "I already am - I buy one occasionally". Now I was the one to be impressed."
Helpful Punctuation by Michael Jones from Rochdale: "Sir, I share the anxiety over the modern scarcity of apostrophes. While driving through Oldham recently, I noticed a sign directing me towards a new business that read "LENS". I turned the corner expecting to find an optician or maybe a camera store. Alas, it was a carwash - presumably owned by Len."
Geo-tautology - by Sally Baker, Feedback p 26: John Symes, a fellow hack, was put out to discover recently in The Times one of his biggest bugbears: a reference to "Sahara desert". He objects on the ground that "Sahara" comes from the Arabic 'sahra' which means, well, 'desert'.
Hot on his heels came another e-mail, from Ian Gordon, pleading to make his own "pedantic remark". The Times occasionally refers to Lundy Island. The word island here is redundant as it is implied by the name Lundy.
All of which brought to mind a former colleague whose own bugbear was Mount Fujiyama because, and you're probably there before me, "yama" means mountain and so it should be referred to as Fujiyama, or Mount Fuji. And don't get me started on Lake Windermere.
So where does that leave us? All these are entirely valid points, but in the great scheme of things does a little geographical tautology do any harm? I think not.