The ultimate go-ahead-and

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Tue Aug 22 21:34:38 UTC 2000

I agree with Don and Natalie.  I've used the phrase many times and never
thought of it as acknowledging permission, unless it's
self-permission.  "Go on and (do something)" is less common for me but not
unfamiliar.  Neither form has ever struck me as "secretarial" in tone or
use, and neither form appears to be regionally restricted, from the cites
of us three (Texas?, Mississippi, and Minnesota).

At 04:11 PM 8/22/00 -0500, you wrote:
>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

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

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