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How many "is"s do we need!?
digimind
thwack

Heard on WBER this morning:

"...the thing is is is that..."

And no, he wasn't stuttering.

One "is" is correct for that phrase. Two "is"s is used way too often and it annoys and distracts me anytime I hear it, but sadly I'm usually the only one who DOES hear it. Three "is"s should get one arrested for language abuse.


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Wow, three "is"s is pretty impressive!

(Post from random fathomite)

I'm trying, but I can only come up with 2... 3's challenging.

The thing is, what the thing is is often mistaken for what the thing isn't.
But sometimes, what is is not what is meant, but is what happens when it is what it is.

I know, the sentences above make no sense whatsoever, but is is is that so bad?


Re: (Post from random fathomite)

Your sentences actually make perfect grammatical sense to me. :) Thanks for not being dumb!

By the way, there IS a case where people often say "is is" that is actually correct: "What it is, is..." In that case, "What it is" is the subject and the second "is" acts on it. I only take issue with saying "The thing is, is..." because the FIRST "is" acts on "The thing", so the second "is" is superfluous.

That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is.

Re: (Post from random fathomite)

True, there are cases where "is is" is appropriate (see my 2 examples above)... However, they are few and far between.

And in the second example, is is almost the subject, as well as the verb ("what is, is not what's meant...")(and in this sentence, is was the verb...).

But as Descarte' never said, "I don't think, therefore I might not be." Not that that has anything to do with our discussion.

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