try and?

Herbert Stahlke hstahlke at WORLDNET.ATT.NET
Fri Apr 18 02:54:45 UTC 2003

There's also the "take and" construction, where a complementizer analysis is
more difficult.

He took and robbed the bank.
She took and smacked him.
The Babe took and hit a home run.


-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
Of Laurence Horn
Sent: Thursday, April 17, 2003 9:23 PM
Subject: Re: try and?

At 3:01 PM -0700 4/17/03, Peter Richardson wrote:
>There must be something in the archives about "try and" as well: "I'll try
>and get to it in the morning." Does anyone know how old the apparent
>substitution of _and_ for _to_ is in this case? Possibly analogous is
>"I'll look and see" = "I'll [take a] look in order to see." Note that we
>can't say "I'll try and [do it]," but that "I'll try to [do it]" is just
>fine: *I'll try and / I'll try to.

Another early case of complementizer "and" is the "go and"
construction (cf. Donne on "Go and catch a falling star").  This is a
little freer in its distribution, occuring with past inflection:

He used to {try to/try and} leap tall buildings at a single bound.
He {tried to/*tried and} leapt tall buildings at a single bound.

but ok:
He went and leapt tall buildings at a single bound
He went and ate all my cookies (=/= He went to eat all my cookies)

Also, in non-inflected environments, the "and" can be suppressed:

Go catch a falling star.
Go (and) eat your own cookies.


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