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Styrofoam language–redundancy–is growing. I hate verbal packaging. Something I see daily; “What that means is [that]…”

Examples from the press
Toronto Sun: “What that means is Spencer only needs one win at these Olympics to make it into the medal round.”
Vancouver Sun : “….what that means is that every culture shares the same raw human genius.”

There’s a much uglier version; “What that is, is….”   More examples online;

  • What that is, is beyond me.
  • What that is, is a highway department sign.
  • What that is, is inspiration.
  • What that is, is up to you.

Very easy to edit:

what that is

Rhetorical Devices
Like other rhetorical constructions, it’s not informative, but only trying to persuade me that the speaker / writer is about to deliver a key piece of information. As good writers and speakers know, rhetoric holds interest, but when any particular device is overused, it becomes boring. That is, redundant.

Seems that some versions are ungrammatical.  Scroll down to #29.