Gone and V-ed

Peter A. McGraw pmcgraw at LINFIELD.EDU
Tue Nov 7 18:55:05 UTC 2000

Like Lynne, I find it incredible that any speaker of American English would
be unfamiliar with the "gone and..." construction. I doubt that I use it
often myself, but it's certainly available in my active vocabulary.  And
it's common enough in books (though probably only in dialog).  Have these
students ever read a novel?!

Certainly this use of "go" doesn't refer to motion.  It's something like
"proceed to," except that, as Johanna and others have indicated, the verb
it's used with denotes something undesirable or disapproved of by the
speaker.  As far as I know, the full conjugation of "go" can be used in
this way.  (E.g., to a child, "You WOULD go and eat ice cream before
dinner, wouldn't you!"  Or, "So what does he do?  He goes and walks through
a mud puddle in his brand new shoes!")

Peter Mc.

--On Tue, Nov 7, 2000 12:25 PM -0800 Salikoko Mufwene
<mufw at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU> wrote:

> At 12:52 PM 11/7/2000 -0500, Johanna N. Franklin wrote:
>>    It does mean that he did "drown his dinner in syrup."  The
>> connotation is that he did something wrong, as in
>> Can you believe that he just went and wrote that letter without telling
>> me? That cat of yours has gone and destroyed my couch.
>>    I'm more used to hearing it as "...went and...," obviously, but I
>> have heard "gone" too (growing up in southern Illinois, rather rural).
>> This construction was mainly used to discuss someone doing something bad.
>>    Johanna, who wants UPS to stop by and pick up her defective monitor
> Can we assume safely here that "gone" loses the literal meaning of
> MOTION? A student thought the MOTION-less interpretation must be the
> case--reminiscent of "camouflaged 'come'" I think.
> Sali.
> **********************************************************
> Salikoko S. Mufwene                        s-mufwene at uchicago.edu
> University of Chicago                      773-702-8531; FAX 773-834-0924
> Department of Linguistics
> 1010 East 59th Street
> Chicago, IL 60637
> http://humanities.uchicago.edu/humanities/linguistics/faculty/mufwene.html
> **********************************************************

                               Peter A. McGraw
                   Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
                            pmcgraw at linfield.edu

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