The ultimate go-ahead-and

Donald M. Lance LanceDM at MISSOURI.EDU
Tue Aug 22 19:39:10 UTC 2000

Not just secretaries.  I'm sure I've been using it for years.

"Peter A. McGraw" wrote:

> Well, maybe not the ultimate, but a first for me.
> I don't remember when I became conscious of this, but it's been around
> awhile.  It's what might be called the empty "go-ahead-and."  As in, "I'll
> go ahead and tell Mr. Smith you're here."  In my experience it's confined
> to female speakers who are secretaries, receptionists and the like.  With
> some speakers, it seems as if EVERY verb becomes "go-ahead-and V."  The
> meaning seems to be something like, "Get ready--pay attention--verb
> coming."  Nonetheless it seems to me that at least a vestige of literal
> meaning is usually preserved, in that the verb that follows denotes an
> action that one MIGHT, theoretically, have been waiting for a go-ahead to
> carry out.
> Not anymore.
> One of the secretaries here just said, "Do you want me to go-ahead-and not
> even bother stuffing those envelopes?"  Somehow that seems to complete a
> transition that I had not seen completed before.
> Peter Mc.
> ****************************************************************************
>                                Peter A. McGraw
>                    Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
>                             pmcgraw at

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