The ultimate go-ahead-and

Donald M. Lance LanceDM at MISSOURI.EDU
Tue Aug 22 20:30:24 UTC 2000

P.S.  In my case, the expression fits perfectly when I've been debating with myself
whether/when to act or a group has been discussing a possible move and I/we make a
decision to act, whether after a few seconds or after a longer time.  It's so "I'd say
that" that I don't see why it seems strange to others.

"Donald M. Lance" wrote:

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