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The double copula, also known as the double is, is the usage in the English language of two successive copulas when only one is necessary. For example:
- My point is is that...
This should not be confused with legitimate usages of two successive copulas, such as:
- What my point is is that...
In the latter sentence, "What my point is" is a dependent clause, and functions as a subject. In the former sentence, "My point" is a complete subject, and requires only one copula.
The term double is, though commonly used to describe this practice, is somewhat inaccurate, since other forms of the word (e.g. "was", "were") can be used in the same manner.
According to the third edition of Robert Burchfield's Fowler's Modern English Usage, the double copula originated around 1971 in the United States, and had spread to the United Kingdom by 1987.
- Disputed English grammar
- Page at alt-usage-english.org