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Chacham's Journal: that that 6

Journal by Chacham

I have noticed that when the term "that that" comes up in a sentence, generally one of the "that"s can be removed, and the sentence will retain its meaning. In those cases, I am wondering if there is a preference for one or both "that"s.

For example, "I went to the store. I know that that is true." In this case, the first "that" can be removed and the sentence will retain its meaning. This seems to be true in most cases, but not all.

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that that

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  • I went to the store. I know that THIS is true.
    or I know that IT was true. That should never be used next to that but this is fine =)
    • I went to the store. I know that THIS is true.
      or I know that IT was true.


      Good point. My example was flawed.

      Let me try again.

      CmdrTaco: All slashdot articles are true.
      (Hemos looks troubled)
      (CmdrTaco realizes that Hemos is about to ask about a specific article.)
      CmdrTaco: I know that that is true too.

      The second "that" cannot be replaced with "this", since CmdrTaco is not pointing at anything. And, to replace it with "it" is hard since there was no specific reference to it. Although, you may be able to get away with it.

      However, the first "that" can be safely removed.

      That should never be used next to that but this is fine

      What about, "That that is, is."? I come accross other examples now and then, and I find those times to be delightful.

      • asked the english teacher at the school where I teach and admin, she said 'that that' is actually used quite regularly and there is no rule or suggestion against using it. Bit-o-quirk to me :) But these oddities DO make language lovers lavish in the luster of linguistics!

        btw...Loved the journal!
        • Thanx for the follow up.

          Loved the journal? You mean this entry, or just the journal in general? I am thinking (well, someone suggested it) that I put slashcode on a dumb website I own. Wait untill you see what goes there. :-)
        • Was just watching DragonBallZ in Japanese. The translation (episode 270) had "that that". I wanted to correct them, but, oh well. :-)
          • I tried a slashcode install...failed :(
            haven't given up...just waiting to figure out
            how to install Linux on my Dec Alpha 500a :)
            THEN!!! the fun shall begin...but get'n married 3 months ago put a major brake on those little 'fun' projects!

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis

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