I'm wondering if there's a name for this particular kind of redundant phrasing:

So what I'm going to do right now is, I'm going to . . .


So what you want to do is, you want to . . .

I notice this most often in tutorial contexts (classroom lectures, YouTube videos) or sales pitches. In a tutorial context, it projects a lack of confidence or knowledge; in a sales pitch, it comes off as a deliberate distraction or verbal confidence trick.

Would this be considered a type of speech disfluency?

Note that I'm not asking for a general descriptive word like circumlocution. I'm looking for a name for this specific pattern of speech so I can find out if anything scholarly has been written about it.

  • It's not really a rhetorical device is it? I wouldn't say the speaker lacks authority or knowledge either. It's more like a reminder to oneself, a way of echoing aloud one's intentions. Interesting question :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 10, 2015 at 12:01
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA Perhaps you're right that it doesn't reflect a lack of authority or knowledge. Maybe it's more like mental disorganization. It's certainly more common when people are thinking while they speak, rather than delivering a rote lecture. Mar 11, 2015 at 4:40
  • What is it about this particular phenomenon (of which you've only given us two examples) that you care to capture in a term? Is it the repetition/redundancy? Or is it the lack of planning/poor style? If it is the redundancy, that is not necessarily disfluency (it could be intentional repetition, to fill up time/meter/etc). I ask because there are lots of ways of describing either side (and maybe other sides as well)
    – Mitch
    Mar 30, 2015 at 17:41

3 Answers 3


It appears to be a form of anadiplosis

(rhetoric) repetition of the words or phrase at the end of one sentence, line, or clause at the beginning of the next


Some might apply the term reduplication, although that is more commonly used for repetition within a word.

Repeat (a syllable or other linguistic element) exactly or with a slight change, e.g., hurly-burly, see-saw.

Oxford Dictionaries Online


How about pleonasm?

Grammar and Rhetoric. The use of more words in a sentence or clause than are necessary to express the meaning; redundancy of expression either as a fault of style, or as a rhetorical figure used for emphasis or clarity. Also: an instance of this; a superfluously worded expression or phrase.

There are several different types of pleonasm. Wikipedia has a comprehensive discussion. Your example would be contextual or stylistic pleonasm.


So what I'm going to do right now is a noun clause that functions as the subject of the verb is and I'm going to... is another noun clause that functions as the complement of the verb "is". This is a perfectly straightforward English sentence, no rhetorical devices required.

  • This is a stupendously perfect English sentence too, but it exhibits hyperbole. Straightforward sentences can still use rhetorical devices.
    – Andrew Leach
    Mar 13, 2015 at 9:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.