The ultimate go-ahead-and

Natalie Maynor maynor at CS.MSSTATE.EDU
Tue Aug 22 21:11:14 UTC 2000

Peter McGraw wrote:

>   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.

I've never thought of go-ahead-and-V as being related to being given
a go-ahead, as in permission.  To me (and I do use the expression)
it indicates my decision to do something that I had perhaps been
thinking about not doing or something that I was putting off.  E.g.,
I think I'll go ahead and vacuum the dog hairs off of the car seat
(I had been thinking about doing it tomorrow but have decided to go
ahead and do it now) or I think I'll go ahead and tell him that I
don't want to go (I had been thinking about not telling him).

I sometimes use go-on-and-V in the same contexts.  I'm not sure which
I use more often, go-on-and or go-ahead-and.
   --Natalie Maynor (maynor at

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