do, v.i.

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Mon Jan 17 20:08:24 UTC 2011

Yeah, but Wilson, that sound more like "I work and I work and I work!"
without the accompanying idea of real effectiveness.

Shakespeare's witch might have meant that, emphasizing her effort even more
than the results. But Clinton was emphasizing Holbrooke's effective results.
The man could do!

Maybe same dictionary sense, but different nuances.


On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 2:50 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: do, v.i.
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 9:00 AM, Jonathan Lighter
> <wuxxmupp2000 at> wrote:
> > At the memorial service for Richard Holbrooke last week, Pres. Clinton
> > observed that "I loved the guy because he could do =97 doing in diplomacy
> > saves lives." Â He added, "He could do and do."
> >
> in her many rants to her ingrate chirn, my mother used to say, more
> often than I care to remember, given that ranting about getting no
> appreciation was her favorite sport:
> "_I do and I do and I do_! And what do I get for it? Nothing! I don't
> get NOTHING!" (Mother Dear didn't normally use the double negative in
> her speech. She low-classed and hyper-Southernized in her rants in
> order to make clear her disrespect for us. After all, as no less a
> family-counselor  than God Himself, speaking through William
> Shakespeare, His favorite surrogate, once observed,
> "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is, to have a thankless child!")
> What she meant by "I do and I do and I do" was something like,
> "I am a wonderful mother who, asking nothing in return, does
> everything that she can to care for her undeserving, worthless
> progeny!"
> --
> -Wilson
> –––
> All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"––a strange complaint to
> come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
> –Mark Twain
> Once that we recognize that we do not err out of laziness, stupidity,
> or evil intent, we can uncumber ourselves of the impossible burden of
> trying to be permanently right. We can take seriously the proposition
> that we could be in error, without necessarily deeming ourselves
> idiotic or unworthy.
> –Kathryn Schulz
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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