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EESS-is
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2011/10/03
11:41pm
Robert
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An eternal pet peeve for me has been how some folks will double up the word “is”, a rising drawn-out one followed by a regular one, like:
My opinion EESS-is that …..
The issue EESS-is that …….
I feel like the person is trying to pull a cheap trick to sound self-important or to dominate the conversation. And I never hear “are-are” or “was-was” so it’s as though they take greater effort to pronounce and those folks are just too lazy to expend the extra effort.

Am I right to feel annoyed by EESS-is, or is it just me and EESS-is is actually legitimate or even profound in some way?

2011/10/04
8:37am
New River, AZ, USA
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Bugs me too, and I hear that mostly in informal conversation. My take is that it’s more a “placeholder,” sorta like predicating a comment with “ahhh” or “ummm” that just buys the speaker a little time between when he gets your attention and has to actually say something meaningful.

2011/10/04
9:20am
telemath
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I hear it, too. It seems like some people have coded the phrase “the problem is” or “the issue is” into one unbreakable unit in their mind. The phrase “the problem is…” comes out with their mind on autopilot. Then they think about what to say next and say, “is that we…”. And they don’t notice the double “is” themselves, because the two parts of the sentence were two different thoughts for them.

As with all language I’m frequently exposed to, I have to fight to not pick it up myself. I beat this one by pausing before the first “is”. “The problem (pause) is that…”

2011/10/05
4:11pm
Robert
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Your takes sound right, and you help me to empathize with folks and to not get so riled up. Both the “space holder” concept and the “code” concept must be at work in most instances. In many instances though, there seems to be an underlying sloppiness that is deliberate, the same kind that underlies “nukewler” or “irregardless”. Thanks.

2011/10/06
5:44am
Glenn
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Welcome.

It seems we have discussed this before, but I can’t find the thread.

While I agree that I have never heard “was was,” I know I have occasionally heard “The problem was is that … “

2011/10/06
7:22am
telemath
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I just remembered another context where I’ve heard this. Someone may say “What the problem is is …” In this case, the phrase “What the problem is” becomes a single noun in the speaker’s mind, and so they add an “is” prior to describing the problem. “What the problem is is” is treated just like “this is.”

This use feels a little more legitimate (my eyes twitch, but don’t quite roll), but I still try to avoid it.

2011/10/06
7:40am
Glenn
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Of course it would be perfectly fine to say: The question is is there enough time to complete the project?

2012/05/31
1:41pm
Robert
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this reply is only for answering MGP The use of “is, is that”

(Full url for some reason can not be cut-pasted )

2012/05/31
7:05pm
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Robert said:

this reply is only for answering MGP The use of “is, is that”

(Full url for some reason can not be cut-pasted )

IE always blocks my first attempt and gives an difficult-to-see message about blocking popups and says to “click here”. When I do, it gives me the option to “Temporarily Allow Pop-ups”. After I click that, the cut-pasting works fine.

Emmett

2012/06/02
2:18am
Robert
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Emmett, the URL appears with some of it missing. Please delete this being not part of the discussion.
http://www.waywordradio.org/di…..is/#p12586

ok got it

Admin please delete now that I’ve learnt how to link little link to long link. Not all users know though.

2012/06/06
1:16am
Raffee
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Robert said:

An eternal pet peeve for me has been how some folks will double up the word “is”, a rising drawn-out one followed by a regular one, like:
My opinion EESS-is that …..
The issue EESS-is that …….
I feel like the person is trying to pull a cheap trick to sound self-important or to dominate the conversation. And I never hear “are-are” or “was-was” so it’s as though they take greater effort to pronounce and those folks are just too lazy to expend the extra effort.

Am I right to feel annoyed by EESS-is, or is it just me and EESS-is is actually legitimate or even profound in some way?

I also believe that there’s a psychological background for such behavior. Sth like what u said, sounding self-important, … .

2013/06/09
5:47am
Robert
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Sometimes, a comma adds gravitas to what follows it:
 

The fact is, my historian-rivals have dealt with Annabel Slade’s confession in very unprofessional ways.

Oates, ‘The Accursed,’ p 256
 
-Sort of kin to the verbal ‘is-is,’ but a wholly sensible usage.  
 
But, somehow it wouldn’t quite work with ‘The facts are,…’  or even ‘The fact was, …’  —  It seems only ‘is’ is fit to deliver the impact, no?
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