"is is"

David M. Robertson dmsnake at USIT.NET
Wed Jan 31 03:22:22 UTC 2001

Wouldn't it be better to replace the "is is" with "was was"? But "is was" might be OK as well.
Either way, it might be stylistically better to make it "I thought that a requirement for
joining this list was knowing who Tartaglia was." (To speak for myself, I didn't know who
Tartaglia was until just a few minutes ago.)


Mark_Mandel at DRAGONSYS.COM wrote:

> James Landau writes:
> >>>>>
> P.S.  On a different topic.  I once perpetrated the following sentence: [In
> reference to the Historia Matematica mailing list] "I thought that knowing
> who Tartaglia is is a requirement for joining this list".  [Tartaglia was a
> Medieval Italian mathematician.]  Is this sentence grammatical?  If so, then
> it is possible to have the word "is" twice in a row without it having to be
> in quotes.  However, it must be admitted that in response to that sentence I
> received an e-mail from Germany politely requesting me to translate it into
> English.
> <<<<<
> IMHO, grammatical beyond question, although prosodically somewhat challenging to the reader.
> -- Mark A. Mandel

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