Not to Nitpick, But "Try" Takes the Infinitive (Or a Gerund), Not a Conjunction.
"Hey! You want to try and see the meteor shower this weekend?"
Umm, no. But I'll try to see it. Or, maybe, I'll even try seeing it.
It's not that I'm a grammar nazi. Sure, I've literally never used the wrong its/it's/they're/their/there/who's/whose/etc. Sure, I definitely use "who" and "whom" correctly.
But I love ending sentences with prepositions. I love slang and neologisms. And! I, like, totally have no problem with people using "literally" to mean "figuratively" (though that's not how I used it just now -- I literally literally never make pronoun mistakes).
It's just... I have a Classical Diploma. I studied Latin and Greek. I also studied psychology and psycholinguistics. That is to say, I know things.
I know that the word vagina literally translates to sheath, as in: a place for a man to stick his sword. That's kind of gross.
I know that "positive reinforcement" probably means the opposite of what you think it does.
And I know that it's not re-diculous. It's ridiculous. After all, do you redicule people with bad grammar?
You ridicule them.
Just like a little, tiny, silent part of me ridicules people who "try and" do something.
Because, look. You don't try and. You try to.
Or. perhaps you try doing something.
Because "try" takes either the infinitive ("to verb") or the gerund ("verbing" as a noun), depending on your meaning.
If you're trying to do something that is difficult or impossible, you try to do it.
Let's try to take Highgarden.
Let's try to stop the Night Walkers.
Let's try to cure greyscale.
If you're trying to do something that is... you know. Easy. Experimental. Worth trying. Then you try doing it. For example:
Let's try taking the Kingsroad.
Let's try praying to the Red God.
Let's try building a wheelchair.
The only time you would really try and something would be in a situation like this:
Let's try and see what happens.
Except, when you look at this sentence, you'll see that "and" still functions as a conjunction, and that "try" is actually taking an understood infinitive or gerund.
Let's try (praying to the Red God) and see what happens.
Let's try (to take Highgarden) and see what happens.
And, yes. Language changes and evolves rapidly over time. That's why I'm only the slightest bit judgey when people "try and" get it wrong. We've probably gotten to the point where most experts would accept "try and" as a correct usage.
But, personally, I don't like it. Doesn't it just sound better when you try doing it correctly?
I leave you with these delightful "Latin Student Problems" memes:
And, of course, this "If The Happy Talent Used Latin Sayings as Titles" list:
Vincit qui se vincit. (He conquers who conquers himself.)
Gladiator in arena consilium capit. (The gladiator is making his plans in the arena.)
Fabas indulcet fames. (Hunger sweetens the beans)
Aqua vitae. (Water of life.)
Non sibi. (Not for oneself.)
Vitanda est improba siren desidia. (One must avoid that wicked temptress, Laziness.)
Disiecti membra poetae. (Limbs of a dismembered poet.)
Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo. (If I cannot bend the will of Heaven, I will move hell.)
Vestis virum reddit. (The clothing makes the man.)
Estne volumen in toga, an solum tibi libet me videre? (Is that a scroll in your toga, or are you just happy to see me?)
8/13/2017 02:53:01 am
The phrase "Not to nitpick," does not cancel out the nitpicking that follows. It's a bit like saying "I'm not racist but..." before saying something racist. You like to nitpick because you care a lot about good writing, you don't need to apologise for it.
8/15/2017 11:37:01 am
Fair enough - it's definitely kind of nitpicky, because I obviously understand that someone who says "try and" REALLY means "try to". But... it just doesn't sound good to me!
8/15/2017 06:10:33 am
[[ "It's just... I have a Classical Diploma. I studied Latin and Greek. I also studied psychology and psycholinguistics. That is to say, I know things.
8/15/2017 11:30:59 am
Yes, you picked up on the satire. Great job on the reading comprehension skills, and thanks for bookmarking.
8/15/2017 12:15:14 pm
Oh, I just love the way how you are heroine of all your stories... even dishing it out to "friends". I mean, even dear Jesus wasn't that perfect! A gentile woman once did manage to teach him a lesson or two...
8/15/2017 01:02:30 pm
Would you prefer it if I just rehashed other people's stories? Why create, when you can just reiterate, right? Haha. You crack me up.
8/15/2017 01:47:54 pm
" Would you prefer it if I just rehashed other people's stories? Why create, when you can just reiterate, right? Haha. You crack me up."
8/15/2017 02:01:32 pm
"Private journals" don't pay the bills, honey. And there is a whole world of people who enjoy reading about my knowledge, expertise and experiences -- why wouldn't I want to share it?
8/15/2017 02:41:47 pm
This site isn't paying your bills.
8/15/2017 02:55:38 pm
"It was about your very egotistical nature of writing. I like how you quietly dodged the actual argument."
8/15/2017 03:17:38 pm
"Your "argument" is that you don't like my style of writing."
8/15/2017 04:12:06 pm
"I gave you a pretty clear warning"
8/16/2017 02:01:12 am
"Didn't realize we were at war... Are you, per chance, ESL? This is a strange word choice for a native speaker."
8/16/2017 10:38:09 am
Honey. If I have to explain why it was a strange word choice, I think it only proves my point.
8/16/2017 02:13:57 pm
"Honey. If I have to explain why it was a strange word choice, I think it only proves my point."
8/16/2017 05:17:57 pm
I guess I complimented your reading comprehension skills a little too early. You seem to have confused bemusement with anger.
8/17/2017 06:09:26 am
"I guess I complimented your reading comprehension skills a little too early."
8/17/2017 11:20:55 am
You say Weebly like it's a bad thing, but I happily recommend it all the time. Wordpress is kinda lame and buggy. My choice of platform hasn't hurt my ability to make money in any way, shape, or form, though.
8/17/2017 12:28:58 pm
"You say Weebly like it's a bad thing, but I happily recommend it all the time."
8/17/2017 12:38:15 pm
Like I said: take your rage and obsession, and put it into a shrine. Or a song. Or even a collage, if that's your thing.
8/17/2017 01:29:27 pm
Lol! Finally! But I even told you what the solution was... your idiotic replies out of sheer ego [narcissistic ego] are meaningless and not you are going to score the victory you think you are.
8/17/2017 01:37:15 pm
I thought I told you to run along! Well, since you've chosen to bombard me with nonsense yet again, here's another article I was just thinking about that you may find useful:
8/17/2017 02:42:50 pm
Lol! This just gets worse for you...
8/23/2017 06:16:58 pm
Came back from vacation to find several really interesting comments on my blog... and then I saw this one. Thanks for the chuckle. :P
8/25/2017 12:54:47 pm
"Came back from vacation to find several really interesting comments on my blog... and then I saw this one. Thanks for the chuckle. :P"
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Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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