Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Mar 18 02:46:18 UTC 2006

Upon occasion, I use a triple-is, as in, "The fact of the matter is is
[pause], is that I had no idea that I used such constructions till a
triple-is happened to catch the attention of Phil LeSourd."


On 3/17/06, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at csli.stanford.edu> wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU>
> Subject:      Re: "is-is"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Mar 17, 2006, at 7:28 AM, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
> > Don't know if this is a new development, but a sixtyish commentator
> > on Fox News (Sorry, I didn't catch whom) just said that "The fact
> > is-is...[_pause_] it's going to be [etc.]."
> >
> >   The first "is" was stressed.
> >
> >   This is the first time I've noticed the pause in that position,
> > (rather than across clauses), thuseffectively doubling the "is"
> > *within its own clause.*
> well, within its own intonational phrase.  intonational phrasing can
> cut across clause boundaries.
> but this sort of double-is example is not uncommon, though it's way
> outnumbered by examples with a pause between the two occurrences of
> "is".  there are also a fair number of examples with no pause in
> either place.
> in his 1987 paper on double-is, dwight bolinger transcribed one
> occurrence as "isis", clearly indicating no pause.
> the speaker i have who is almost categorical in his doubling produces
> all three types.  and, in fact a fourth type, with a pause after
> "that" in "is is that":
>    The thing that's nice is is that [pause]...
> i have one instance of GWB doing this one:
>    The point is is that [pause] if they can't prove they're achieving
> good results,...
> (with a *very* long pause, on the order of a second).
> arnold
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