To go and be obtuse

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Rick Martin

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Feb 18, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/18/97
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I would appreciate some assistance on how to form this "verb" in
different cases.

Example:
> If you tell Johnny not to do something he'll usually go and be
> awkward and do it just the same.

Now try to put the "go and be" bit into the present and you get:
> Whenever you tell Johnny not to do something he usually goes and is
> awkward and does it just the same.

Somehow there's what I feel is a "natural" inclination to say "goes and
bees".

Put it in the past and it gets worse:
> Yesterday I told Johnny not to do something and he went and was
> awkward and did it just the same.

Here I feel the urge to say "went and beed" but I know that's just not
right!

Help me someone, please!

Adrian Tan

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Feb 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/23/97
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Adrian Tan wrote:

5) I'm just throwing rubbish here, but it's possible that the phrase
doesn't usually occur outside of the perfect -- "he/she/it HAS gone and"
--, in which case "been" is the only possibility.

Adrian Tan

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Feb 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/23/97
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1) To "go and do" something is not an expression I use or often hear,
so don't believe anything else I've written.
2) Do you feel that the verb that follows "to go" is normally
transitive? Would you have any trouble saying, for instance, "he goes
and cries" (which is intransitive)? If you do, (which I doubt), you
might feel drawn to "be" because "be" is meant to be intransitive, but

> Sometimes in English, though, "to be" does seem to have the
> force of a transitive verb; e.g., in Gelett Burgess's:
> I never saw a Purple Cow,
> I never hope to see one;
> But I can tell you, anyhow,
> I'd rather see than be one.

[from the alt.usage.english FAQ].

The FAQ quotation was speaking about "to be", but perhaps the feeling of
transitiveness only applies to "be". In this case, you can't actually
express yourself in the present or past.

3) Perhaps it's not a case of "only transitive verbs follow 'go'" as
much as "only transitive or intransitive phrasal verbs follow 'go'".
Would you have problems with "he's gone and sat down"?
4) Perhaps it's simply a case of "no other form of the verb is used but
'be'", without any reason.

> Help me someone, please!

I'm sorry I can't be of more assistance.

Richard Bowman

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Feb 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/23/97
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I find this example rather teasing. I would first suggest that the example
in the present tense is fine, though a little unusual. In a second
language learning environment you would probably face some criticism, but
L1 students would be praised for being inventive.

I think the example raises some questions:

(1) What is the function of saying "go and ..."?

I would first suggest that the construction indicates that the action did
not take place in the same space as the first part of the sentence. "Go
and" is a construction designed to contrast proximity. In the given
example, the "go and" suggests to the reader that the action "be awkward",
is not an immediate reaction to the event of "being told", but a reaction
to another event.

Without the "go and", the relationship between the first and second clauses
would be ambiguous.

He did it
He went and did it

He'll go and do it
He'll do it.

I would judge, then, the example in the present tense as correct, though a
little unusual due to the intransitive phrasal verb
construction--intransitive because it lacks an object, phrasal due to the
'linked' nature of "be" and "awkward". You are in effect turning the
descriptive nature of the complement "awkward" into an action. There are
other complements that could also function in this way:

....goes and is difficult
....goes and is obnoxious


(2) Certainly, bees is not correct. It is an example of the unconscious
patterning we use in language learning and construction.

(3) Your example in the past tense is a little strange due to the use of
"and" as the clausal junctive, as opposed to "but". It sounds funny with
all the "and's" but in literary writing, why not! I would suggest that the
clauses could be coordinated with come commas.

Maybe, though not great

but he went, was awkward, and did it all the same.

(4) Finally, I think that the use of "be awkward" is also rather
interesting. The normal descriptive nature of the "SVC" construction is
changed when "be" is used in a nonfinite clause after a controlling verb,
in this case "go".

Similar constructions:

I want to be awkward
I would rather be awkward

Note, in the case of the second example above, that "be awkward" still
retains a strong descriptive suggestion, i.e., that there is some act
hidden behind the clause that is being described. That is, "be awkward"
refers to the subject doing something which is characterised as being
awkward. My interpretation of your sentence is that "be awkward" loses its
descriptive quality, and becomes an action in itself, thus making the
construction strange but possible.

Regards,

Skip
(Expatirate Australian)
Grad student in English and Psychology
Roskilde Univerisity
Denmark


Adrian Tan <as...@usyd.edu.au> wrote in article
<3310B1...@usyd.edu.au>...

Richard Bowman

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Feb 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/23/97
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Markus Laker

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Feb 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/25/97
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"Richard Bowman" <sk...@post4.tele.dk>:

> (1) What is the function of saying "go and ..."?

The original poster, Rick Martin, is a Brit, and 'go and' is a British
idiom. At least, when I brought it up here a few months ago, no one
from other English-speaking countries seemed to know anything about it.

It implies that someone is acting foolishly, recklessly or against good
advice.

Rather than using your winnings to pay off your debts, you
went and blew them on the horses.

Sometimes, 'go and' is expanded to 'go off and' or 'go out and':

. . . you went off and blew them on the horses.

. . . you went out and bought a Roller.

To answer the original question: sometimes you have to rephrase. If you
say this --

He went and was enrolled into the Legion

-- then 'was enrolled' lacks the emphasis that it needs after the 'went
and'. So you have to replace it with something like this:

He went and got enrolled into the Foreign Legion.

He went and joined the Foreign Legion.

Markus Laker.

(I only went and contradicted everything Richard Bowman had said,
didn't I?)

--
If you quote me, I would appreciate an email copy of your article.

Bob Cunningham

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Feb 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/25/97
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la...@tcp.co.uk (Markus Laker) said:

>"Richard Bowman" <sk...@post4.tele.dk>:
>
>> (1) What is the function of saying "go and ..."?
>
>The original poster, Rick Martin, is a Brit, and 'go and' is a British
>idiom. At least, when I brought it up here a few months ago, no one
>from other English-speaking countries seemed to know anything about it.

That is most surprising. The idiom is commonly used in colloquial
American English.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding the exact British usage that Markus is
referring to, but the following statements would sound quite natural -
to me at least - in informal American English:

What did you have to go and do that for?

We had six clubs cold but my partner went and shifted
to six hearts.

Just as the fight was about to start, the TV went and
quit on us.

Even the following statement would not be unidiomatic:

The party was just starting to go good when my parents
went and came home.

The last example emphasizes that the "went and" has nothing to do
with going someplace, but means only that the occurrence referred to was
surprising and possibly unpleasant.

In every case I can think of, the "went and" can be omitted without
changing the essential meaning. The "went and" - or "go and" - merely
serves as an intensifier.


N.Mitchum

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Feb 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/25/97
to Markus Laker, aj...@lafn.org

Markus Laker wrote:
---------

> The original poster, Rick Martin, is a Brit, and 'go and' is a British
> idiom. At least, when I brought it up here a few months ago, no one
> from other English-speaking countries seemed to know anything about it.
>
> It implies that someone is acting foolishly, recklessly or against good
> advice.[...] Sometimes, 'go and' is expanded to 'go off and' or 'go out and':
>.........

Markus! Why'd you have to go and say something so obtuse? I can't
believe that some American wouldn't have told you, were the matter
put to him plainly, that forms of "go and" are often slipped into our
speech and writing. Best as I can judge, it's usually just a tiny
premonitory nudge to announce that the upcoming verb is the one to
watch out for; it makes sure you're paying attention; and if you aren't
paying attention already, it taps you lightly on the chest. Otherwise,
as you imply, it may be an abridgement of "go forth from this place and
time and [do this or that]."


--- NM [always willing to do this, but never *that*]

Markus Laker

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Feb 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/25/97
to

exw...@ix.netcom.com (Bob Cunningham):

> la...@tcp.co.uk (Markus Laker) said:
>
> >The original poster, Rick Martin, is a Brit, and 'go and' is a British
> >idiom. At least, when I brought it up here a few months ago, no one
> >from other English-speaking countries seemed to know anything about it.
>

> That is most surprising. The idiom is commonly used in colloquial
> American English.

That's odd. No one outside the UK seemed to have heard of it when I
mentioned it a few months ago. Perhaps this was in a particularly dull
thread that most people were ignoring.

Anyway, I've had three messages saying that 'go and' is known in the US,
so you're obviously right, Bob. Apologies to anyone who was misled.

Markus Laker.

Mary F. Heath

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Feb 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/25/97
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Bob Cunningham wrote:
>
> la...@tcp.co.uk (Markus Laker) said:
>
> >"Richard Bowman" <sk...@post4.tele.dk>:
> >
> >> (1) What is the function of saying "go and ..."?
> > <...>

> That is most surprising. The idiom is commonly used in colloquial
> American English.
>
>The verbal form "go and" would probably fit in nicely as a part of the blues, or bluesy-type song lyrics:

"Now how come you had to go and do me like you did?"

From the leaden digits
of m.h.

>

Lee Jones

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Feb 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/25/97
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In article <3318387b...@news.tcp.co.uk>,
Markus Laker <la...@tcp.co.uk> wrote:

>Anyway, I've had three messages saying that 'go and' is known in the US,
>so you're obviously right, Bob. Apologies to anyone who was misled.

We should point out that this construct is, while largely tolerated in the
spoken language, quite colloquial, and would raise the hackles of most people
who *read* it.

I'm also sad to relate that "To go ahead and..." is becoming a common construct
in my Silicon Valley technical circles:

"We'll go ahead and fix that program for you."
"We went ahead and shipped it, even though we hadn't heard from you."

I think it's a subtle attempt to imply that the speaker is/was moving the
state of things forward.

Regards, Lee
"I'll go ahead and be quiet now."
--
Lee Jones | "Look out now - oh look out!
le...@sgi.com | She came in through the bathroom window..."
415-933-3356 | -Lennon/McCartney

Mirabelle Severn & Thames

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Feb 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/25/97
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In article <33241cac...@news.tcp.co.uk>,


Markus Laker <la...@tcp.co.uk> wrote:
>"Richard Bowman" <sk...@post4.tele.dk>:

>> (1) What is the function of saying "go and ..."?

>The original poster, Rick Martin, is a Brit, and 'go and' is a British


>idiom. At least, when I brought it up here a few months ago, no one
>from other English-speaking countries seemed to know anything about it.

I must have missed the discussion from a few
months ago. The constructions "go and ..."
and "went and ..." have been familiar to me
since childhood. And did an American write
the song "Something Stupid"? "And then I go
and spoil it all by saying something stupid
like 'I love you'".

Naomi Brokaw
from California's central coast


ESLTEACHER

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Feb 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/25/97
to

Markus Laker (la...@tcp.co.uk) wrote:
: "Richard Bowman" <sk...@post4.tele.dk>:
: > (1) What is the function of saying "go and ..."?
: The original poster, Rick Martin, is a Brit, and 'go and' is a British
: idiom. At least, when I brought it up here a few months ago, no one
: from other English-speaking countries seemed to know anything about it.

I don't think it's only British. I'm American and I'm familiar with this
idiomatic construction. If I recall correctly, there was a country music
song a while back that asked "Why'd you have to do and do that?"

: It implies that someone is acting foolishly, recklessly or against good
: advice.

I don't think that we use it in that way, in the U.S. We tend to use it
just to give emphasis:

"I finally went and bought that breadmaker I was talking about."
"He finally went and asked her out."
or
"What have you gone and done now?"

Of course this is quite colloquial, and it's not exactly something that
we'd expect the president to use while addressing the nation. ("I finally
went and did something about taxes" would sound a little strange, for
several reasons), but it's quite likely that he uses this colloquialism when
speaking with his family and friends. I don't believe that I would use
this were I to be trying to impress someone with my great erudition, and
I seriously doubt that I would use it during a job interview, but
if I'm just hobnobbing with my friends, I do use it on occasion.

Meg

--
ESL Teacher

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi
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John

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Feb 25, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/25/97
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In article <5evppp$7...@fido.asd.sgi.com>, le...@diver.asd.sgi.com (Lee Jones)
wrote:


> I'm also sad to relate that "To go ahead and..." is becoming a common
construct
> in my Silicon Valley technical circles:
>
> "We'll go ahead and fix that program for you."
> "We went ahead and shipped it, even though we hadn't heard from you."
>
> I think it's a subtle attempt to imply that the speaker is/was moving the
> state of things forward.
>

I've heard it in biological talks also. "So, we went ahead and cloned the
gene."
It sounded rather unprofessional to my ears. It sounds like the speaker is
trying to fill out their alloted time, when they don't have enough data.
(yes "the speaker"..."their...time").

Rick Martin

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Feb 26, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/26/97
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Going back over this ground again last night, my wife & I came to the
conclusion that it's certainly colloquial, possibly with a hint of the
emphatic tone which one might expect from Anglo-Saxon. Not quite the
same as their emphatic double negatives, but certainly in that style.

Anyone any thoughts on this aspect? Could any students of Anglo-Saxon
comment?

Bob Cunningham

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Feb 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/28/97
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le...@diver.asd.sgi.com (Lee Jones) said:

[...]

>We should point out that ["go and"] is, while largely tolerated in the


>spoken language, quite colloquial, and would raise the hackles of most people
>who *read* it.
>

"Go and" - in the sense that has nothing to do with going anywhere
- is close to being synonymous with another informal expression, "haul
off".

"I thought it was going to be nice today, but it had to go and rain
and ruin the picnic"

is pretty much equivalent to:

"I thought it was going to be nice today, but it had to haul off
and rain and ruin the picnic".

>I'm also sad to relate that "To go ahead and..." is becoming a common
>construct in my Silicon Valley technical circles:
>
>"We'll go ahead and fix that program for you."
>"We went ahead and shipped it, even though we hadn't heard from you."

It may be just becoming common in certain circles, but "go ahead"
in that sense has been around for 60 years or so that I remember, and I
suspect it's been around much longer than that.

A valid conversation might be:

I want to stop.

Well go ahead and stop and see if I care.

Or:

Are you ready for me to back up a little farther?

Yes, go ahead and back up until I tell you to stop.

I must say, though, that I was quite surprised to find no
occurrences of "go ahead and" or "went ahead and" in either of two
Project Gutenberg files, _The Adventures of Tom Sawyer_ and _The
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn_. I did find it in _Uncle Tom's Cabin_,
but only one occurrence (at line 6255):

"Well, then, we'll all go ahead and buy up [slaves],"
said the man, "if that's the way of Providence,--won't
we, Squire?" said he,

_Uncle Tom's Cabin_ was published in 1852.


Simon Hosie

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Feb 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/28/97
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Markus Laker:

> The original poster, Rick Martin, is a Brit, and 'go and' is a British
> idiom. At least, when I brought it up here a few months ago, no one
> from other English-speaking countries seemed to know anything about it.
>
> It implies that someone is acting foolishly, recklessly or against good
> advice.
>
> Rather than using your winnings to pay off your debts, you
> went and blew them on the horses.

That's reasonably common in New Zealand.

LarryTrent

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Feb 28, 1997, 3:00:00 AM2/28/97
to

Bob Cunningham in <33173841...@nntp.ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>"Go and" - in the sense that has nothing to do with going anywhere
>- is close to being synonymous with another informal expression, "haul
>off".


Where I grew up in central Indiana, a similar construction was made of the
verb "take." For instance, "I'm gonna take and knock your block off'' or
"I took and wrapped aluminum foil on my rabbit ears so I could watch World
Championship rasslin'."
Aside from its use from mere habit, I interpret it as an intensifier, used
either by an insecure person putting on a brave front or as a
storyteller's device to carve out a bigger space for and demand more
attention for the subsequent words.
My apologies if this has already been brought up in this thread.
Larry

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