Filed under the same category as my frustration with people who say they “could care less” when trying to express the opposite sentiment, I want to talk about “the thing is”.

I don’t know why, but in recent years I’ve heard a dramatic and terrifying increase in the appearance of these sorts of nonsensical redundancies in people’s speech:

  • The thing is is that…
  • The reason being is that…

Otherwise perfectly articulate and intelligent people have started succumbing to this syntactic syndrome. Podcasts, talks, daily conversation…I hear it everywhere. Is it contagious? What is going on here‽

I understand that language evolves, sometimes at the expense of grammar, but this isn’t some quirky colloquialism: it sounds uneducated.

And so, a humble plea: if you’re going to use these phrases, take a moment to think about what you’re saying. Eloquence matters.