At last, "that"

hw gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 13 05:08:35 UTC 2013

On Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 10:55 PM, Joel S. Berson <Berson at> wrote:

> (I assume hw will notice, and understand, the inversion in my last
> sentence above.)

I noticed it and I understand it, but I don't _understand_-understand it.
It's like hearing people say "I'm done" when the "correct" form is "I'm

On a *slightly* more serious note, it *seems* to me that done-speakers can
*always* use _done_, whereas even the most thorough through-speakers will
run into situations in which _through_ won't do and he *has* to use "done."

I won't be done till midnight.
I won't be through till midnight.

When will the turkey be done?
The turkey will be done by midday. [Both okay]
When will the turkey be through?
The turkey will be through by midday. [Both nokay]


The turkey will be done cooking by midday.
The turkey will be through cooking by midday.

"Get through!" is normally used in place of "Finish [up]!" Can "Get done!"
likewise be so used?

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

The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list