Over the last couple of years, I've been hearing the term self-care a lot, and it's clear to me that its usage falls on a spectrum. On one end, it's used earnestly in the context of self-preservation and healing from trauma, and on the other end it's used as a marketing label slapped on bath bombs, face masks, and body lotions. 

Curious about its roots, I did some research.

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Reduplication in Game of Thrones

Last night's episode of Game of Thrones was harrowing, to say the least. However, amid all the darkness, I had a moment of levity as a linguist when Meera Reed uses contrastive focus reduplication (sometimes also called lexical cloning or the double construction).

As Meera is packing up her things, she explains to Hodor what's happening: "We can go home now, Hodor. Well, maybe not home home, but somewhere that isn't a cave."

What's Reduplication?

If you're not already familiar with reduplication, here's quick linguistics lesson: in English (and other languages) sometimes words, parts of words, or phrases are repeated to create a novel element of meaning. This element of meaning can range from an added connotation to an entirely different sense. 

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