"come and" (V) as quasi-auxiliary

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Nov 29 00:50:48 UTC 2008

At 1:54 PM -0600 11/28/08, Cohen, Gerald Leonard wrote:
>      If there are no other examples of this sort of usage, we may
>deal with a syntactic blend in this particular case:
>"In about an hour I'm going to be taken off the pump" + "In about an
>hour a nurse is going to come and take me off the pump."
>Gerald Cohen

Other potential examples, such as this one courtesy of Counsellor
Michelle at
(*emphasis* added)
The most important thing for people to realise is that help is just
around the corner, they really just need to make a phone call and
none of us are very scary and no one is going to wave their finger at
them and tell them they've been terrible and bad, there's no
judgements involved and I think for people their worst fear is that
*they are going to come and be judged* and be told what a terrible
person they are, and that's not going to happen, they are just going
to come and have a chat and talk about issues that they want to talk
about and just find really positive ways and better strategies for
dealing with issues in their lives and that's what we are about.
all seem to involve the literal motion-verb rather than auxiliary use
of "come".  Thus too:

If prosperity is going to come and be maintained, it has to be shared.

...or this nice one at http://thedartmouth.com/2008/01/28/news/shelter/
that has not only a "come and be" passive but an "all of the sudden":

Nancy Vogele '85, a supporter of the project and rector at St. Paul's
Episcopal Church which is located next door to the proposed new
shelter, said she believes opposition stems from a fear of the
unknown rather than from legitimate security concerns.

"It's a hypothetical guy who is going to come and be turned away, and
where is he going to go?" Vogele said. "Is he going to go into our
neighborhood and sleep on our back porch? We don't have concerns
about that because Haven has always run their shelters well. We have
no indication that all of the sudden they're not going to do that."

(A lot of other "going to come and be" involve copulas followed by
predicate adjectives or nominals rather than passives.)  So my
impression is that it is indeed vanishingly rare, but that doesn't
mean I buy the syntactic blend analysis--or at least the one Jerry
proposes.  Another possibility is that it's basically the
semi-auxiliary (non-motion-entailing) "go and..." but deictically
translated to "come and..." because of the first person subject.
("He's gonna go and VP", but "I'm gonna come and VP")

>Original message from Mark Mandel,  Fri 11/28/2008 10:44 AM:
>Just heard in phone conversation: "in about an hour I'm going to come and be
>taken off the pump". What's going to happen at that time is that a nurse is
>going to come to the speaker's house and disconnect the speaker from a
>medical infusion pump. So this seems to be an agentless passivization of "X
>will come and take me off the pump", with "come and" treated as a kind of
>Mark Mandel
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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