Asked • 06/24/19

What is the name of this grammatical phenomenon?

I have observed that many native English speakers (esp. American English, in my experience) tend, within the same sentence, to start a new clause whose subject is an element of the previous clause. Here is an example: > That is what fascinated me about programming—is that it changes the way you think about the world. In this sentence, "what fascinated me about programming" is used as an object in the first clause, but then gets reused as the subject of the second clause. Other examples: - > This is something we talk about a lot—is the size of the community is substantially smaller than the React community [...] ([source](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCNs92YQjhw#t=3m05s)) - > This is what I think went wrong is what Trump did very effectively is tap the angst and the anger and the hurt and the pain that millions of working-class people are feeling. ([source](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlmuKtyhDKg&t=59s)) I have only noticed this phenomenon in spoken English, as opposed to written English. What are its name and origins? Note: I'm aware of the *double copula* (a.k.a. "double is"); this is related, but different.

Duane J.

tutor
We don't always follow the strictest of rules when we speak as opposed to when we write. Occasionally, lapses in grammar like this happen when we are thinking of what we want to say and how to say it. Look at your example through a filter as I have described. The parentheses indicate thinking or lapses in word use and choice because they are thinking and speaking at the same time. (This is) Something we talk about a lot—is the size of the community (which) is substantially smaller than the React community The correctly planned sentence: "Something we talk about a lot is the size of the community which is substantially smaller than the React community." Bernie thinking and talking at the same time. He is answering the question but wants to repeat the question in his answer. "What I think went wrong... (AND THIS) is what (I THINK) Trump did very effectively ... (WHAT I THINK TRUMP DID) is tap the angst..." The correctly planned sentence: "This is what I think WENT wrong and what Trump DID very effectively WAS tap the angst..." When we speak "off the cuff" it is very easy to confuse incorrect grammar, context, hesitation, thought and breath groups. This is especially true because we don't use punctuation when we speak. Also, keep in mind to speak English coherently and concisely, it's not necessary to know every obscure grammar rule.
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06/24/19

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