Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jan 4 14:40:16 UTC 2011

At 9:14 AM -0500 1/4/11, Laurence Horn wrote:
>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".
Silly of me not to have checked Nietzsche--besides the participles I
take to be typos (in the first cases) or the nominal I take to be a
nonce reduplication with the sense of 'idiot, loony' (in the second),
there's this, from The Genealogy of Morals, which I read once 40
years ago without retaining the "doing-doing" (maybe it was a
different translation).  I suspect none of Michael's examples involve
Nietzsche's sense, though.

And just exactly as the people separate the lightning from its flash,
and interpret the latter as a thing done, as the working of a subject
which is called lightning, so also does the popular morality separate
strength from the expression of strength, as though behind the strong
man there existed some indifferent neutral substratum  which enjoyed
a caprice and option  as to whether or not it should express
strength. But there is no such substratum , there is no "being"
behind doing, working, becoming; "the doer" is a mere appendage to
the action. The action is everything. In point of fact, the people
duplicate the doing, when they make the lightning lighten, that is a
"doing-doing": they make the same phenomenon first a cause, and then,
secondly, the effect of that cause.


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