Friday, June 21, 2013

Idioms are weird

Have you ever stopped to think about idioms and set phrases in English? Some of them are really weird; for example, the other day I thought of three phrases ("here you go," "there you go," and "here we go" and its variants) that have totally different meanings, even though they're essentially the same thing. And, since this is an English blog, I might as well talk about English here, right? More after the jump break.

The phrase "here you go" is used when you give something to someone, usually when it's something requested or expected. For example, if my friend asks for some gum, I might say "here you go" when handing it to her.

Then we have the phrase "There you go," which is often used as an expression of approval. For example, if a dad was teaching his son how to play baseball, he might say "There you go! Good job!" when his son successfully hits the baseball. Also, "there we go" is used much the same way.

Finally, there's the collection of phrases "here I go/here we go/there he goes/there they go" which essentially mean "I'm going/we're going/he's going/they're going somewhere." For example, someone at a water park might say, "Here I go!" as s/he pushes off to go down a water slide. Alternatively, "here we go" can sometimes mean "an event is starting right now," which is how it's used in the Bud Light ad campaign.

So, even though all these phrases are constructed the same way (<t/here> + <pronoun> + <conjugated go>), they mean completely different things. Crazy, huh? I'm sure there are tons more, too... can anyone else think of any other weird figures of speech?

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