Repetition is not necessarily a Bad Thing.
Some writers think that repeating the same word is to be avoided at all costs, but that’s not so. Very often, the linguistic gymnastics involved render a piece of writing inelegant and amateurish.
David Sexton, writing in the London Evening Standard, provides a brilliant example of the strained effect that arises from trying, unnecessarily, to avoid repetition. In his piece he quotes a well-known UK broadcaster, Melvyn Bragg, several times. At various junctures, according to Sexton, Bragg ‘argues’, ‘says’, ‘contends’, ‘complains’, ‘thinks’ and ‘wonders’.
Hmmm, could Bragg not have opined, expounded, expressed and expatiated as well?
Sexton should have just ditched all the fancy words along with his thesaurus and used ‘says’ throughout. The reading eye glides easily over this type of repetition and does not become distracted by a steadily mounting pile of synonyms strewn about the page.
On the other hand…
Look at this from the After Deadline column in The New York Times:
Mr. Paladino may have low approval ratings downstate. But to some residents around Buffalo, Mr. Paladino, a prominent local real estate developer, is a hometown hero. High turnout in Erie County, where Buffalo is, helped Mr. Paladino win the Republican primary.
As the column points out, a pronoun or two would have spared readers the jarring repetition of Mr Paladino’s surname in three consecutive sentences.