So you know what I don’t get? Why people repeat words. (x)

Grammar time: it’s called “contrastive reduplication,” and it’s a form of intensification that is relatively common. Finnish does a very similar thing, and others use near-reduplication (rhyme-based) to intensify, like Hungarian (pici ‘tiny’, ici-pici ‘very tiny’).

Even the typologically-distant group of Bantu languages utilize reduplication in a strikingly similar fashion with nouns: Kinande oku-gulu ‘leg’, oku-gulu-gulu ‘a REAL leg’ (Downing 2001, includes more with verbal reduplication as well).

I suppose the difficult aspect of English reduplication is not through this particular type, but the fact that it utilizes many other types of reduplication: baby talk (choo-choo, no-no), rhyming (teeny-weeny, super-duper), and the ever-famous “shm” reduplication: fancy-schmancy (a way of denying the claim that something is fancy).

screams my professor was trying to find an example of reduplication so the next class he came back and said “I FOUND REDUPLICATION IN ENGLISH” and then he said “Milk milk” and everyone was just “what?” and he said “you know when you go to a coffee shop and they ask if you want soy milk and you say ‘no i want milk milk’” and everyone just had this collective sigh of understanding.

Another name for this particular construction is contrastive focus reduplication, and there’s a famous linguistics paper about it which is commonly known as the Salad Salad Paper. You know, because if you want to make it clear that you’re not talking about pasta salad or potato salad, you might call it “salad salad”. The repetition indicates that you’re intending the most prototypical meaning of the word, like green salad or cow’s milk, even though other things can be considered types of salad or milk. 

Can I make love to this post?… Is that a thing that’s possible?

"Well. This is embarrassing."


Dean had in fact been thinking about how embarrassing this was (stupid Sammy and his great ideas) when he heard the rumbly murmur behind him, but when he turned around and saw some goddamned blue eyes burning laser-humor into his skull he forgot for a minute and intelligently replied with ‘Whu?’

"I mean, really, one of us should change."

Dean is one hundred percent sure he looks like an idiot because he has no idea what the man is talking about, and the man himself looks like he’s about to burst out laughing. Okay, so the little crinkles at the corners of his eyes are kind of super endearing, but all he can really think about is how badly he must be blushing.

He should probably say something, but the nagging mantra of stupid Sammy and his stupid pranks and stupid charity no pants keeps cycling through his head. And of course when Sammy had told him about the ‘No Pants Subway Ride’ for whatever cause he was supporting he told him that meant totally naked, and of course he would see the kind of - okay - really attractive guy that always has the giant travel mug that smells like Christmas. Normally he’s got no shame, but turning up on a gross NYC subway naked was bad enough, and then he saw everyone in their best underwear, and he was honestly just waiting to be arrested, groped inappropriately, or both.

This is when two thoughts band together to push everything else out of his head. 

What if he’s not wearing pants. What kind of underwear does he wear?

Wait. One of us has to change?

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