[Ads-l] RES: _try to_ vs. _try and_

David Daniel dad at COARSECOURSES.COM
Tue Nov 8 12:46:29 UTC 2016

Well, Wilson asked if anyone else had been taught "try and" was incorrect.
Seems straight forward enough to me. I answered his question: yes, that is
what I was taught. Then I threw in some editorial. Wilson didn't ask for
editorial, but I'm gabby that way sometimes. BTW, I don't know why MWDEU's
opinion on the matter would have come into our discussion on whether we had
been taught it was incorrect or not. And it's not going to change my opinion
that I find it grating. :) 

Enviada em: terça-feira, 8 de novembro de 2016 10:09
Assunto: Re: _try to_ vs. _try and_

Poster:       "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at STANFORD.EDU>
Subject:      Re: _try to_ vs. _try and_

discussion from Wilson Gray, Robin Hamilton, and now David Daniel, all star=
ting this topic as if no one had ever considered it before.

PLEASE PLEASE start with the sources, in particular Merriam-Webster's Dicti=
onary of English Usage, a volume everyone on this list ought to have (it's =
not at all expensive) and consult.

MWDEU has a substantial entry on _try and_.  it's been common in print for =
nearly two centuries now, in both the UK and North America.  yes, it's an i=
diom (but why is that somehow a count against it?).  yes, it's often in alt=
ernation with _try to_ (but why would anyone claim that there should be no =
variant usages?).  yes, it's more common in speech than in writing (but why=
should that somehow be a count against it?).

MWDEU's entry ends with this quote from Fowler 1926 -- yes, *that* Fowler, =
in *1926*:

   It is an idiom that should be not discountenanced, but used when it come=
s natural.

there is probably no truth-functional difference between _try and_ and _try=
to_, but the two often differ in more subtle ways -- consequeces of the fa=
ct that _try to V_ is hypotactic (and connotes a close, tight relationship =
between the denotations of _try_ and V), while _try and_ is paratactic (and=
connotes a looser relationship between these denotations).  and they tend =
to differ registrally.

if you don't like _try and_, don't use it; everyone has irrational prejudic=
es, and you're entitled to yours.  but don't piss on people -- LIKE ME -- w=
ho do use it; there's nothing wrong with us or with the way we talk..


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