Questions about repeating a given word in a phrase, sentence, or short passage of text.

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29
votes
9answers
43k views

How do you handle “that that”? The double “that” problem

Have you ever had a case where you felt compelled to include strange things like a double that in a sentence? If so, then what did you do to resolve this? For me, I never knew whether it was ...
10
votes
4answers
7k views

“The thing is, is that…”

This is a phrase I've heard many people use, and it sounds wrong to me; e.g.: The thing about that is, is that she might take it the wrong way. It seems to treat "The thing [...] is"—the entire ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the term for the double consecutive use of a word with stress on one of the words to alter its severity?

What is the term when a word is used consecutively twice, with intentional stress placed on the first word, as a means to alter the severity of the word's meaning? I am not referring to a past ...
13
votes
7answers
38k views

What does “had had” mean? How does this differ from “had”?

For example, what is the difference between the following two sentences: I had a bad day I had had a bad day
9
votes
5answers
36k views

Can you use two “and”s in a sentence?

For example, I like chocolate, vanilla, and lemon and orange ice cream. Indicating "lemon and orange" is a combined flavor, as an item in the list needing an initial and.
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Why do some people say “the reason is is that,” with “is” twice in a row?

Does anybody have any conjectures as to why this quirk is so common? For an example, see this TED talk by Kevin Slavin.
8
votes
4answers
746 views

Transcribing long repeating phone numbers

I always have this problem of telling people my phone number which consists of a series of repeating numbers: 184 555 5555 (DO NOT CALL, this is just as an example) I can tell people it is: ...
6
votes
3answers
486 views

“Are you sure sure” — is this repetition grammatically correct?

A typical conversation among members of my age demographic could go like this: Person 1: Did you know that x > y?!? Person 2: Are you sure? Person 1: Yeah, I'm sure. Person 2: Are ...
5
votes
3answers
599 views

How did the phenomenon of doubling words come about?

I am referring to phrases such as: "Do you like her, or do you like like her." Can someone provide an explanation of this? There are many more examples but none come to mind at the moment.
0
votes
2answers
3k views

How to avoid that “that that” that is so very awkward

In all seriousness, are there any common patterns or strategies people use to avoid having to write a sentence in which "that that" appears? For example: Evidential decision theory recommends ...
1
vote
2answers
189 views

Strange sentence structure from a piece by Paula Gunn Allen

This lesson is in a pattern book. I want to know why the word about is repeated quite a few times in the text: My mother told me stories about cooking and childbearing; she told me stories ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

When should I repeat the definite article?

I am a bit confused about the rule of setting the definite article in a sentence when it is associated to two nouns. The beginning and end of the channel. The beginning and the end of the ...
5
votes
3answers
7k views

Is there a term for using a word twice in a row, but in a grammatically-appropriate way?

For example: "I could tell he had had a great time at the circus." If you're not repeating the word for emphasis, is there a term for the sequential usage, other than "coincidence"?
5
votes
3answers
4k views

How to properly write sentence with double words

I commonly come across sentences where I have to write the same word twice such as, This is what I've been looking for for a long time. and in these cases I just try to rewrite the sentence to ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Rules about prepositions and duplicating 'to'

On occasion, I end up writing sentences that contain a duplicate word, often what is probably a preposition (or better yet, an adposition). The specific example that I just ran into involves a ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Better use of “that that” — or not [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you handle “that that”? The double “that” problem I sometimes seem to write myself into using 2 thats in succession, as in: "Now that ...
19
votes
5answers
2k views

Is “princessship” a real word? Are there any other words which have the same letter 3 times consecutively?

One of my friends argues that princessship is the only word which has 3 identical letter comes together (s) ,but I think there is no word such as princessship. Can anyone tell me whether this is a ...
6
votes
1answer
292 views

What do we call the “repetition” construct (if it's even proper English)?

I've sometimes seen this construct, used to avoid repetitive handwriting, but I don't even know if it's proper English. If it is, what is the name of this construct? I have no idea what to search for ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Is it bad English to have two to's in a row?

For example how would one correct the sentence "what website should I go to to upload the photo?" or is it correct already?
4
votes
3answers
505 views

What is a word called that consists of a repetition of one word?

What is a word called that consists of a repetition of one word? I came across the word polypoly in one of the other question asked on the site, and it got me thinking whether there are other ...
2
votes
0answers
494 views

Appearance of “is is” in speech patterns [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “The thing is, is that…” Why do some people say “the reason is is that,” with “is” twice in a row? For the past few years I've been noticing a curious phenomenon. ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Double words in a sentence, what is this called? [closed]

Trying to find out what double words in a sentence are called. I know there's got to be a word for it. There is for everything! Examples: I had had a good day, until you arrived. We know ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

usage of dissimilar

This sentence is grammatically correct. But does it make sense to use word dissimilar to avoid repetition of different here? the results would be absolutely dissimilar if there is any slight ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

What term describes the replacement of a full description of an object with a reference to one of its specific features? [duplicate]

What term in literary analysis describes the process in which we replace the full description of an object with a reference to just one aspect of it, e.g. 'It is a Rembrandt' instead of 'It is a ...
0
votes
0answers
227 views

Grammaticality of “that that” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you handle “that that”? The double “that” problem “I don't think that that can be done” Better use of “that that” — or not ...