Gone and V-ed

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Nov 7 19:00:46 UTC 2000

>Can anybody paraphrase the following construction:
>        But he's gone and drowned his dinner in syrup.
>It occurs in Harper Lee's TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD in the following context:
>     Atticus shook his head at me again. "But he's gone and drowned his
> dinner in syrup," I protested. "He's poured it all over --"

I can give a near-equivalent: "But he's upped and drowned his dinner in syrup."

Another: "But he's taken and drowned his dinner in syrup."

"Go and V", "take and V", and "up and V" are not absolutely
interchangeable, but I perceive each to be equivalent to an intensified or
emphatic form of "V" -- probably just by virtue of lengthening or elaboration.

I think the "go" is motionless, similar to the first verb in "I'm going to
go there some day", with the connotation of willfulness (but not
universally, and sometimes rather sarcastically perhaps). Perhaps one might
compare "But he's gone so far as to drown his dinner in syrup."

"Take and" tends to imply, I think, some instrument (although not
universally): in this case like "He's taken the syrup and drowned his
dinner in it."

"Up and" has, I think, a flavor of sudden arousal, like "rise up" or "start
up": e.g., "He didn't say anything, he just up[ped] and ran."

-- Doug Wilson

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