do, v.i.

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Mon Jan 17 20:27:13 UTC 2011

At 3:08 PM -0500 1/17/11, Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>Yeah, but Wilson, that sound more like "I work and I work and I work!"
>without the accompanying idea of real effectiveness.

Alternatively, that particular declaration ("I do
and I do and I do") could have come from the
groom at an old-style Mormon wedding ceremony,
albeit on an elliptical reading.


>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 -
>"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."
>The American Dialect Society -

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