As a descriptor, it means something has been revived, restored, or otherwise redone. It can be used in a number of fields, including music, art, and technology. Redux can mean something has been reexamined, redone, made better, made more relevant, or been given increased importance. This is particularly true when used in art.
History and Usage
The term was first used in 1662 in John Dryden’s Astraea Redux, followed by Anthony Tollope’s Phineas Redux in 1873. More recently, the term entered into more mainstream conversational usage following the release of John Updike’s Rabbit Redux in 1970.
While the word can be used literally to indicate an improvement on the original, it also has a secondary sarcastic usage, implying that the thing itself has been repeated without any improvement on the original. One example of this usage is a "company policy redux" – in this sense, it conveys a sense of déjà vu, and not in a good way.
It’s a term whose meaning has to be inferred from the tone of voice and the context in which it’s used.
Debatable Part of Speech
“Redux” is typically used as an adjective modifying a noun. Different from many other English adjectives, it typically comes after the noun in a sentence. This is similar to other adjectives of it’s class, like “remix”.
Folk etymology suggests that it is a combination of “redo” and “remix”, given it’s similarity in meaning. While this is not accurate given the historical documentation of the etymology of the word, its similarity with the two other words may have helped it retain staying power in our vernacular.
In more recent usage, the word has been adapted into both a noun and a verb. As a noun, it typically can stand in as a synonym for “do-over” or “redo” (e.g., “a redux of last night”). It’s use as a verb is less common, and follows the form of other nouns that get “verbed”, meaning it can take standard verbal and participial forms with normal suffixing (e.g., “reduxed” as the past participle).
Did You Know?
- Redux is constantly evolving as a word and is acceptably used as both an adjective and a noun – it can even describe a verb.
- Once a seldomly used term, the word "redux" is commonly found in media and popular culture references.
- A major shift in one's life may also be referred to as a "redux," particularly if it brings them back to something from their past.
Redux in Popular Culture
The word "redux" has become quite popular in film and music. Francis Coppola used the term to entitle his re-release of Apocalypse Now which included materials that had been removed from the originally released version, as well as additional editing. Some musicians and music producers will describe what are normally thought of as remixes using the term as well.
"Redux" continues to grow in popularity as a term for describing a way of bringing something back, whether it be a piece of music, a novel, or even one's self.
Redux in Computer Science