[Ads-l] _try to_ vs. _try and_

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 8 21:05:38 UTC 2016

On Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 7:08 AM, Arnold M. Zwicky <zwicky at stanford.edu>

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

Arnold, the question was whether anyone besides me was ever *taught* that
_try and_ was "incorrect" and that "try to" was "correct" and *not* a
question as to whether it was _agreed_ that _try and_ was "incorrect" and
that _try to_ was "correct."

So, it turns out that at least three of us *were* taught that and David
added that, presumably because of what he was taught, "try and" now peeves
*him*. Robin and I don't take it so seriously. But, as you rightly observe,
"everyone has irrational prejudices,"
perhaps *especially* when it comes to the stylistics of one's native
language. Whatever you've learned at your mother's knee, there will come a
time when someone of presumed or actual authority is going to tell you, as
a Bostonian once told my Brooklynite buddy, "You're all fucked up, kid,"
when the latter spoke of "bunking" into other people as opposed to bumping
into them. A poster to the NYT Online once set my blood boiling by
claiming, in effect, that the "continuing use by black people of the
barely-understandable patois taught them by their former owners 150 years
ago is the source of American racism," an unreasonable position, especially
given the fact that White America wouldn't even have a language, if not for
the cultural appropriation of features of Black English. I'm exaggerating
for effect, of course, but y'all gnome sane. 😜

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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