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What do the terms “criminal lawyer” and “foolish virgin” have in common? There are people who will say that they are both tautological or repetitious. Tautological comes from “tautology” – the combination of the Greek words “tauto” meaning “the same” and “logos” for “words”. It is like saying “Déjà vu all over again”. My “first introduction” to tautology came when my father reversed back the car. Since then I have met many more, not the least of which are criminal lawyers. We’ll deal with the virgins later when we complete the course of words verging on the absurd. Wikipedia lists several, one of which is “added bonus”. The author of the article rightly points out that “bonus” means “extra” so that an extra bonus is an “added added extra”. This Christmas stores are offering a lot of goodies at the “cheapest price” and the new cars on the market are capable of “faster speeds”. We already had “first introduced” which is really not a “new innovation”. Recently, in doing some work in the civil service (which, like “civil lawyer” is believed to be an oxymoron and the opposite of a tautology) I met the term “forward planning”. Planning is always done in advance so if you “plan ahead” it should mean that you are an American intending to construct a lavatory. If there is nothing like a free lunch there is also nothing like a “free gift” since a gift is supposed to be free. By now many of you might be asking what is the intended purpose of this article? Since “purpose” is an “intended result” then “intended purpose” is, in this case, intended but the article is not solely about tautology and I don’t mean to “over exaggerate”. This leads us into virgin territory and I absolutely don’t mean any planes, balloons or property owned by Richard Branson. While foolish virgins hide their light beneath a bushel there is one who is smarter than that and is spreading her light and subsequently certain parts of her anatomy for money. Recently a Brazilian student sparked an outrage after selling her virginity online for US$780 000 to raise money for poor families. Catarina Migliorini, a 20-year-old physical education student, sold her virginity to a Japanese man called Natsu who topped the 15 bids that she received for her virginity. Britain’s Independent newspaper revealed that the victorious bidder from Japan, who seems to have a yen or two for virgins, managed to win despite competition from an Indian big-spender Rudra Chatterjee, who seems to like making whoopee as much as rupee. Catarina’s decision to make the money the hard way was not universally supported. Many people accused her of prostituting herself. Her response was: “I saw this as a business. I have the opportunity to travel, to be part of a movie and get a bonus with it. "If you only do it once in your life then you are not a prostitute, just like if you take one amazing photograph it does not automatically make you a photographer. "The auction is just business, I'm a romantic girl at heart and believe in love. But this will make a big difference to my area.” While not specifying exactly what area will be affected, Catarina’s big event will be made into a documentary called Virgins Wanted. Catarina will apparently be “delivered” to her buyer on board a plane (not Virgin Airlines) between Australia and the United States. The Independent commissioned a survey to see what their readers thought about paying for sex and prostitution in general. The majority of the 1 200 people who responded thought prostitution should be legal (73 per cent). Only 25 per cent thought being a prostitute was morally wrong, but a greater number thought visiting a prostitute was wrong (37 per cent). Seventeen per cent of readers had visited a prostitute, but a whopping 57 per cent would lie about it to their partner if they had. Forty-two per cent of people said they would think badly of a partner who had visited a prostitute, while only 37 per cent said they thought it was immoral in general. As for auctioning your virginity to make money for charity, most people didn’t think it was wrong, but the majority did consider it prostitution. Over one in five people would also be more inclined to pay for sex if it was for charity. This an interesting footnote to Catarina’s story. Alex Stepanov, a 21-year-old Australian student appearing in the same TV show, got $3 000 for his time with a Brazilian woman called Nene B. • Tony Deyal was last seen saying that the bed in the airplane where Catarina’s big night takes place can be called a “virgin berth”.