Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jan 4 14:14:51 UTC 2011

At 11:10 AM +0000 1/4/11, Michael Quinion wrote:
>I've recently come across the odd duplicated phrase DOING DOING in
>American publications and would be grateful for any information about its
>"'What you are doing doing is penalizing the people that use the I-90
>corridor,' said Bellevue resident Bill Pott." -- Seattle Post
>Intelligencer, 8 Dec. 2010; "Edward Boffman picks up toys to go with some
>clothing while doing doing Christmas shopping for his two sons" -- The
>Virginian-Pilot 27 Dec. 2010.
>One or two might be mistakes but there are far too many for that. I've
>also encountered it as a noun ("He's going to take on the doing-doings in
>the US who believe their president is Kenyan-born, and therefore illegally
>elected."  -- Guardian, 1 Jan. 2011).
Not that I'm familiar with either of these, but I suspect these are
entirely different.  The first is a reduplication of "doing",
although if it's not a typo by the printer or hesitation phenomenon
by the speaker, it's a new one on me; it doesn't fit the usual
pattern of "salad salad" or "like him like him" that has been
discussed in some detail in the literature, since inter alia there's
no implicit contrast here.  The second, on the other hand, I suspect
is a doubling of monosyllabic "doing" [with the diphthong of
"toying") that's less of a participle/gerund than an expressive.  I'd
guess that "doing-doing" is perhaps influenced by "boing-boing".


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